Crypto Corner: The Sports Slice

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Last week’s Sports Slice will find itself tough to top. One of the most notable arenas in the U.S. found a new naming rights deal with, the NFL quietly collaborated with Ticketmaster and Polygon in NFTs, and two major European football clubs found some reasons to hesitate with potential crypto partners. This week, we headed into a holiday week for many, but there was still sports and crypto crossover as sponsorships and engagement continues to grow in the headlines.

Each week, we cover the past seven days of crypto and sports action. Let’s take a look at the past weeks’ biggest headlines:

The Sports Slice

A Busy Week For OBJ

Safe to say it was a crazy calendar this week for NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., often known as OBJ. The talented wide-out is expecting a baby with his current girlfriend, he secured a deal with Cash App to be paid in Bitcoin, and then on Sunday afternoon secured his first touchdown as an LA Ram. Quite a trifecta for OBJ this past week.

The Cash App partnership isn’t the first foray for the sports star in the world of crypto; earlier in the year, OBJ secured his Twitter profile picture CryptoPunk.

Spanish Football Star Iniesta & Binance Brings Mixed Reviews

Social media posts from former FC Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta were not thoroughly well received this past week. Iniesta was promoting crypto exchange Binance, however there has been no formal announcement around an established relationship with Iniesta and Binance. SportsPro Media was able to confirm with a Binance representative that there is a relationship with the Spanish football star.

On a star’s Twitter post, a reply from Spanish regulator CNMV said that Iniesta should “inform yourself thoroughly.”

India’s Biggest Sports League Bans Crypto Deals

Cricket is India’s biggest sport, and now the biggest and richest sports league in the country is cutting the thread on crypto deals. The Indian Premier League (IPL) is following a directive from the Board of Control for Cricket in India stating that all IPL teams are barred from signing sponsorship deals with crypto exchanges.

Reports have stated that two IPL teams have already had to scrap potential deals, describing the directive as “a major opportunity loss.” Reports also stated that IPL franchises were not happy with the decision from the board. Less than a month ago, several teams were reportedly in talks to launch fan tokens on Polygon.

The board stated that the directive is to stand until clear governmental regulation is in play. The news comes as a hotly-debated and consistently-discussed India legislation around crypto is up for review for the country’s upcoming parliamentary winter session.

FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried: Sports Sponsorships “Grab Attention In A Way That Few Other Things Do”

FTX has been spending a nice bankroll lately on sports sponsorships and partnerships. However, the rate of return on that spend doesn’t seem to be of major concern to FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who sat down with CNBC’s “Crypto Night In America” segment this past week.

Bankman-Fried also added that the target audience is people who are already in the space, or are considering the space, describing these partnerships as “an introductory push.”

Related Reading | NFTs In A Nutshell: A Weekly Review

FTX has been gaining ground through an aggressive sports sponsorship strategy. FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried sat down on CNBC to briefly discuss the importance of these partnerships in FTX's broader marketing strategy. | Source: FTT-USD on

Exodus Wallet Teams Up With SportX For Esports Gambling

Exodus has established itself as one of the few trusted names in crypto when it comes to hardware wallets. This past week, the firm partnered up with online sports and crypto betting platform SportX. The move will allow Exodus users to easily download the SportX application and make sports bets in over 130 different cryptos. Of course, the ability to bet will only be geo-constricted to areas where sports gambling is legal. The SportX platform utilizes the Polygon blockchain. Polygon is showing continued interest in being present in the sports gambling space, after partnering with DraftKings just last month.

In the official press release, Exodus CEO and co-founder JP Richardson said that “with stellar user experience a core part of Exodus’ DNA, SportX was an ideal partner to help us expand into the sports betting arena and further our mission to empower people to control their own wealth.”

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