Crypto Corner: The Sports Piece

Premier League Soccer is the latest sports league to make it big with a new blockchain partner as a deal appears to be nearing completion. Meanwhile, one of the biggest sports stars in European football has signed a new partnership deal.

However, there’s more esports and crypto action outside of European football and that’s why we’re diving in every weekend The sports cut. Let’s take a look at some of the world’s biggest esports news centered around NFTs and blockchain technology.

The sports cut

Messi signs with Bitget

Argentinian soccer legend Lionel Messi is no newcomer to crypto. When he signed for Parisian club PSG last year, an undisclosed amount of PSG tokens was included in the deal. Earlier this year, Messi continued his commitment by signing a $20 million deal with fan token platform Socios.

A new deal has come into play over the past week, courtesy of crypto exchange Bitget. The move follows the World Cup, the sport’s biggest event – which takes place every four years – and one where Messi has yet to lift the trophy.

English Premier League seek ~$35m deal with Sorare

Last week, Slice reported on the launch of Sorare’s new NBA Fantasy Beta platform. No need to hit the brakes now as Sorare is clearly seeing some momentum; Reports have surfaced over the past week that Sorare is on the verge of inking a roughly $35 million deal with the Premier League, expanding the blockchain fantasy game’s dominance in the football industry.

While the deal is not yet set in stone, it is reportedly nearing the finish line and is likely a multi-year deal that will include the league’s 20 clubs for usage rights within Sorare’s fantasy gaming platform. Additionally, the deal is believed to replace an existing deal with ConsenSys, which was also an “almost done” deal but never saw the finish line.

The English Premier League was also in talks with Dapper Labs.

NuArca Labs, an emerging NFT whitelabel platform, has paired up with the Hong Kong Rugby Union. NuArca typically utilizes the Polygon (MATIC) blockchain. | Source: MATIC-USD on

Hong Kong Rugby Union explores NFTs

The Hong Kong Rugby Union has launched its own NFT marketplace, according to a press release shared with Bitcoinist. The marketplace is the result of a partnership between the Hong Kong Rugby Union and NFT white label platform company NuArca Labs.

The Hong Kong Rugby Union, the region’s official governing body for rugby, joins a growing list of respected rugby partners for NuArca Labs, including Major League Rugby and Rugby League World Cup 2021.

Crypto sponsorship risk level

A new report from SportsPro gave a high-level assessment of current esports sponsorship categories, landing crypto sponsors — popping up far and wide in esports — as “high risk.”

The argument is valid; The 2022 bear market saw a significant drop in the number of new crypto sponsors compared to last year’s boom. Additionally, bear market conditions have caused some deals to be unwound, often inevitably — like Voyager’s deal with the Dallas Mavericks and the National Women’s Soccer League, or Terra Luna’s deal with the MLB’s Washington Nationals.

However, most teams and leagues are willing to take some risk in their sports sponsorship portfolio. Crypto sponsors join sponsors like betting, technology, and even airlines in the high-risk category.

Sports Stadiums in the Metaverse

A new deal between Warner Bros Discovery Sports and Infinite Reality is to build sports venues in the Metaverse. It is Warner Bros Discovery’s first foray into fan base building in virtual environments specifically targeted at sports communities.

However, it is not the first foray into NFTs or other Web3-associated technologies by the companies. But on the contrary. The parent company is overseeing DC Comics as it prepares for Superman NFTs, our team has reported over the past few days. We’ve also seen the Warner Bros giant’s recent involvement in intellectual property like Lord Of The Rings, and we’ve seen the firm partner with NFT-first companies like Nifty.

Exactly what form this sports-focused initiative from Warner Bros Discovery will take remains to be seen, but sports fans should keep an eye out for new AR/VR experiences featuring their favorite sports coming to market in the coming months.

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The writer of this content is not associated or affiliated with any of the parties mentioned in this article. This is not financial advice.
This op-ed represents the views of the author, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Bitcoinist. Bitcoinist is an advocate of creative and financial freedom alike.


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