Crypto Corner: The Sports Slice
We’re in the MLB playoffs, but last week’s biggest sports and cryptocurrency headlines weren’t baseball-related (although yes, the MLB he does has an NFT deal with growing sports platform Candy Digital). However, we did have some headlines and discussion threads about Formula 1 and European football to keep things fresh.
Let’s take a look at the latest sports and cryptocurrency stories from the past week.
The Sport Slice
Formula 1 files new NFT trademark applications
Formula 1 has worked in the crypto space briefly before, signing a league-wide deal with Crypto.com earlier and allowing individual racing teams to secure their own crypto partners. The league is seemingly on the verge of dabbling in NFTs, however, following a new trademark filing filed in recent days.
According to USPTO trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis, “Formula 1 has registered 8 trademarks for ‘F1’ covering: Cryptocurrency + NFTs, NFT + cryptocurrency markets, retail stores for virtual goods, Blockchain financial transactions, trading cryptocurrency + mining … and much more.”
The deal could bring a potential NFT partner to F1 as Crypto.com actually owns the cryptocurrency category for the racing league so far. However, as the 2022 bear market continues to roll through the year, there are rumors that Crypto.com is reducing its existing sports partnership activations – and Formula 1 is one of the names that have been mentioned in the mix.
Digitalbits (XDB) is currently on the losing end of a rough battle as speculation around the health of the platform's deal with European soccer club Inter Milan is abound. Rumors have been floating that the platform's partnership with Inter Milan could be severed in the weeks ahead. | Source: XDB-USDT on TradingView.com
Rocky roads between Inter Milan and Digitalbits?
Inter Milan ended a 26-year contract with tire maker Pirelli in 2021, replacing their deal with fan token platform Socios. Furthermore, Milan signed to the NFT Digitalbits platform, and rumors of partnership concerns have been swirling in recent months.
Rumors once again surfaced last week, with the Italian football boards and local reports speculating that Digitalbits owes a substantial sponsorship payment to the club and that the deal could be closed by the end of the month. The rumors certainly have legs, as the Digitalbits branding on the club’s training ground, the sidelines of the main ground and the clubhouse have all been removed. That leaves only the most valuable asset remaining, the club’s shirt patch – which looks unchanged so far.
Furthermore, we are just 3 months away from widespread reports that the relationship between the two parties was not up to par. Many football publications reported that Digitalbits had apparently failed to make timely payments and Inter were considering legal action against the company.
European football has been particularly conducive to crypto-related sponsorships and partnerships relative to many other major sports; with global reach and appeal and plenty of gray area to work around in sponsorships, clubs have produced mixed results to date with cryptocurrency transactions – both in European football and beyond.
Meta signs sporting partnership with Liverpool
As one door closes, another opens. Despite plenty of headlines surrounding the lack of excitement over Meta’s VR and crypto expeditions in recent years, a new deal is in the works for the Zuckerberg-led company, and it’s another European football club in the mix.
Liverpool will be working with Meta around new avatars and “metaverse clothing”, which will also be available in Meta Quest VR later in the year. The licensing agreement between the two parties will be the first of its kind for a European football club, according to SportsProMedia. The deal will allocate a revenue share to Liverpool and will be active in seven different markets across the world.
The deal isn’t Liverpool’s first exploration of the ‘metaverse’, as they have previously attempted an NFT launch with limited success. Meta, meanwhile, previously made a similar avatar-based deal with the NFL around the Super Bowl.
Liverpool senior vice president of digital Drew Crisp said the club has “over 70 million global fans following our Facebook and Instagram channels and … really looking forward to seeing many of those avatars change and don our iconic kit or lifestyle clothing”.
Featured image from Pexels, Charts from TradingView.com
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