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Cryptocurrency is an incredible digital asset with many potential utilities and opportunities lurking beneath. However, it still lacks in adoption and overall popularity, which is why it would have to integrate more mainstream phenomena to reach wider audiences.
As it happens, football is the favorite form of entertainment for billions of people around the globe, making it exactly what cryptocurrency needs. Here’s where it’s at, at the moment, and what the future might bring when discussing cryptocurrency’s integration in football.
Cryptocurrency integration into football
The first major difference comes from many football sponsorships that will suddenly become available. Sure, football was never a sport with a want for more money, but this could serve as a bridge for crypto to step into mainstream entertainment. Now, we say entertainment is simple – while football is a sport for all its participants, many people consume it as entertainment.
It’s also worth mentioning that crypto investors have become one potential investment to make it all up since the decline of gambling sponsors in countries like the UK. Crypto-related sponsorships are already on a massive rise. For instance, in 2022, you have:
- Consensys: $589 million to Premier League.
- Whale Fin: $210 million to Atletico Madrid and $24 million yearly to Chelsea.
- Zytara Labs: $100 million to Inter Milan and $42 million to AS Roma.
During the World Cup 2022, there was a release of special NFTs that fans could trade among themselves.
Besides that, Crypto.com was one of the World Cup sponsors and helped FIFA with all the technical issues around Web3. This was a major revolution in cryptocurrency integration into football and a huge step in integrating cryptocurrency into football.
From the start, it was clear to everyone that the adoption in the football world won’t come in a top-to-bottom format. Namely, if there’s to be an adoption, it has to start at the football level.
When one house in the neighborhood installs solar panels on its roof, it’s not long until the rest of the homes in the neighborhood follow. The same thing happens with cryptocurrency integration. No one wants to be the first, but as soon as they see something working first-hand, they rush to adopt it.
Premier League teams signing deals with eToro are the perfect example of this. This investment network has signed many teams in the UK, Germany, and worldwide, including some of the world’s most renowned franchises like Arsenal, Aston Villa, Newcastle United, etc.
The company has decided to increase its adoption in the mainstream by signing football sponsorships. The franchises themselves praise these collaborations and sponsorships for great results. Not reserved for just the big tokens (KW)
Another big thing to mention here is fan tokens. This is a new form of fan engagement entirely. The thing is that the past system was only beneficial in one direction. Namely, fans bought the tickets and club merchandise (jerseys, scarves, etc.), and the team benefited. Crypto tokens benefit everyone, even the stakeholders (fans).
The point, however, is to turn these tokens into some kind of utility coin, where the tokens don’t just have their value on exchange but can be used to buy merchandise, tickets, etc., at a cheaper rate.
They can also afford you a vote in polls (especially ones regarding the future course of the team), like jersey colors for the next season, welcome songs, etc.
Because being a part of the team is such a high priority for the fans, the fact that these tokens can be used to access training sessions is a huge reason to buy them.
Now, if you’re still on the fence because you assume that there’s no way that a token can function exclusively based on team identity and allegiance, then we suggest that you do a bit more research on the subject.
For instance, on Technopedia.com, you can read about newly-emerging crypto tokens based on memes, subreddits, and eco-friendly initiatives. In other words, anything that has that degree of public interest is a great soil for growing crypto. What has a more dedicated and zealous fanbase than football teams? This is the potential that we can expect more and more crypto developers to discover and exploit in the nearest future.
Binance and football
It is surprising to learn that people with massive followings attract lucrative partnerships. Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange (with about 40% of the global crypto market share), has signed a deal with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Now, Cristiano Ronaldo has transcended football and become a pop culture icon. He has the world’s biggest Instagram account, with almost 600 million followers. He’s second only to Instagram’s official account. Third (or second place) goes to Leo Messi, another football legend.
Now, the number of followers is a currency in the modern world, so it’s unsurprising that these legendary players are so attractive to those who aim to popularize crypto. After all, football is the world’s most popular pastime. In the top 50 accounts on Instagram, you can also find Neymar, Mbappe, and Beckham.
In the future, we can expect more and more of these partnerships to form. This will, beyond doubt, lead to a much higher adoption rate and normalization of this trend.
Many people are buying their tickets online, so why not use crypto as one of the potential forms of ticketing? This wouldn’t change much for the clubs, but it will give fans one more (convenient) option to start using.
Blockchain and WEB3 technologies could be used for broadcasting monetization (similarly to how PPV is used in some sports). While football is so popular that it’s almost always televised by mainstream media (in a conventional way), this might change in the future.
If cryptocurrencies are so amazing for international transfers because of the low transfer time and fees, wouldn’t it make perfect sense to use them for multi-million player transfers? As it happens, this is no longer as futuristic as you would expect. First, 37-year-old former Real Madrid player David Barral because the first player with Bitcoin was used as payment.
Sure, this wasn’t as big of news in the football world, but it was huge in the crypto world. Why? Well, because it was an indicator that this is just one of many such transfers that may happen in the future.
Also, with the expected growth of football’s popularity in the United States, integrating crypto may go hand in hand with future initiatives.
There are so many challenges that cryptocurrency must overcome to be fully integrated into something as mainstream as football.
First, many are already accusing gargantuan transfer sums of money laundering. Therefore, crypto would first have to offer higher financial transparency to be taken more seriously.
Next, there are some regulatory concerns. After all, in many regions, crypto is still largely unregulated. It would take a while for this to change, and a lot of organizations and executives would rather wait it out.
Lastly, while many opportunities exist for higher crypto adoption among fans, the numbers are still not significant enough. This adoption rate would have to change, as well.
Crypto in football has a lot of potential, but it still has a long way to go
As you can see, fans, football players, teams, and even entire leagues have something to gain from higher crypto integration. Still, adoption and integration take time, and we’re still early in the process. We need to wait and see what the future brings.