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From Sponsorships Deals To Betting Platforms: How Cryptocurrency Is Transforming The Sports Industry

From Sponsorships Deals To Betting Platforms: How Cryptocurrency Is Transforming The Sports Industry

In recent years, cryptocurrency has emerged as an alternative payment method offering a higher degree of transparency and security. Several crypto firms are trying to appeal to sports enthusiasts by securing sponsorship deals and being incorporated into betting platforms. 

The origins and popularisation of cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies (also called ‘crypto') are exclusively digital currencies that do not have physical equivalents such as paper bills or coins. This digital assent works as a means of payment, which can be transferred directly to a beneficiary without the intervention of third parties like banks. Unlike fiat money, cryptocurrencies aren’t issued or regulated by any government or central authority, which means they are “decentralised”. Yet, all crypto transactions are recorded in a database known as the “blockchain”— a distributed database or ledger that exists across a computer network and is unalterable and protected by cryptography. 

Cryptocurrency transactions are sequences of numbers that take place between crypto wallets. Their exchange is peer-to-peer (P2P), that is, directly between senders and receivers. As previously mentioned, such operations are recorded in the blockchain as if it were an account book. 

Some of the advantages of cryptocurrency include faster and more cost effective transactions, greater accessibility, protection against inflection, and more transparency, safety and security. 

In 2009, the first decentralised cryptocurrency was created: Bitcoin (BTC). Behind this innovative project was Satoshi Nakamoto, whose real identity remains unknown. Bitcoin’s price reached an all-time high in November of 2021, with values exceeding over 65.000 USD. However, the coin—known for its volatility—is valued at 22.415 USD nowadays. 

Bitcoin’s introduction in the market resulted in the emergence of several other cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and Stablecoin to name a few. According to data by Statista, there are nearly 9.000 cryptocurrencies as of 2023. 

Cryptocurrency’s impact on the world of sports 

In recent years, cryptocurrencies have made their way into the world of sports. Disciplines such as football, hockey, cricket and Formula 1 typically attract over a billion fans across the world, which has resulted in the booming of the sports sponsorship industry, valued at 40 billion USD. Cryptocurrency companies have taken advantage of the popularity of sports, securing millionaire partnerships with league tournaments, teams and athletes. 

In 2022, Manchester United FC secured a multi-year sponsorship agreement with open-source blockchain Tezos. The deal allows for Tezos’ branding to appear on the men and women’s warm-up jerseys before matches. Additionally, it includes “several new fan experiences” built on the Tezos blockchain as stated by the football club. In Formula 1, cryptocurrency firm Bybit struck a 3-year sponsorship deal with Bull Racing whose official blockchain partner is also Tezos. 

Through these lucrative agreements, not only are cryptocurrency firms seeking greater exposure, but also the opportunity to build meaningful engagement with sports enthusiasts. Linking a brand with a beloved team or player humanises what might seem like an alienating and complicated technology for the average person. 

Cryptocurrency and the sports betting market 

The proliferation of cryptocurrencies has also influenced yet another aspect of sports: betting. In 2021, the sports betting and lottery market size worldwide amounted to 194.63 billion USD. Due to the rise of technology, nowadays sports enthusiasts can place a wager on the outcome of almost any sporting event, be it football, basketball, cricket or even horse racing from their computer or smartphone. Online bookmakers and gambling sites have been quick to adapt to emerging technological innovations, including cryptocurrencies as more and more of these platforms are accepting crypto transactions. 

A crypto sportsbet platform is essentially the same as a traditional one, with the only difference that it allows the use of cryptocurrencies as a payment method. Websites such as give users access to thoroughbred odds with crypto and a wide range of payment options, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Tether and Binance Coin among others.