Sponsorships have been around for decades and have been proven to be a heavily successful communication strategy in various industries.
First, it was tobacco leading the way back in the 90s, then beer brands took the lead, followed by airlines, and, of course, sports betting.
The latest newcomer into the sports betting sponsorship arena is crypto, with Nielsen (a data and market measurement firm) projecting blockchain sports sponsorship spending to reach US$5bn by 2026.
This is a massive 778% increase compared to 2021 stats, and I can completely understand why it is growing at such an immense speed.
According to this particular study, 52% of esports fans and 39% of sports fans say they are aware of crypto tokens, which is significantly higher than the general population, which is approximately 3.9%.
It is because sponsorships and crypto have become a force to be reckoned with but how did they manage to achieve such outstanding results?
The answer is quite simple.
Do you know who watches sports ALL THE TIME? Folks who engage in sports betting.
And, if you can remember, even before sports betting was legalized in the US, DraftKings, and FanDuel advertised massively during some major sports broadcasts making the overlap between the audience and crypto companies in terms of behaviors, demographics, and attitudes fairly obvious.
It’s all about awareness.
Just think about it. It’s almost impossible to ignore multi-year, multi-million mega naming rights deals like the re-brand of the Staples Centre to the Crypto.com Arena, and it’s really hard to overlook a Super Bowl ad of Larry David ballyhooing for crypto.
The bottom line is that crypto casino sports sponsorships are gaining momentum, fast, and there is no stopping it any time soon.
The Biggest Crypto Casino Sports Sponsorships
Stake.com and UFC
The UFC is the biggest organization for mixed martial arts in the world, and Stake.com is the largest crypto gambling and sports betting site globally, which makes this duo the perfect fit.
Under the agreement, Stake.com is the UFC’s official betting partner in Asia and Latin America but operations will be extended to Brazil and the rest of Latin America. As part of the marketing efforts, the Stake.com logo will be used on all advertising for the championships and will be featured in the Octagon at some events.
Stake.com and Everton
Premier League club Everton has replaced its previous sponsor (Cazoo) with Stake.com and has signed a $12.52 million deal for the 2022/2023 season.
But, it wasn’t long before there was a slight hick-up in the deal when Everton told Stake.com to stop using imagery in an international promotional offering a $10 free bet to any punter who wagers $5,000 in the space of a week.
BC.GAME and Argentine Football Association
Another big wing casino, BC.GAME has also jumped on the bandwagon after entering a global sponsorship agreement with the Argentine Football Association (AFA) which will open an international pathway for both brands to reach a broader audience and drive synergies between the organizations and casino players.
BC.GAME will support the AFA in the coming months including the Qatar FIFA World Cup and has also signed up famous players such as Ángel Di María, Lionel Messi, and Paulo Dybala, who will engage and connect with BC.GAME players.
Sportsbet.io and Arsenal
Sportsbet.io, another crypto sports betting giant signed a 3-year $5 million deal with Arsenal in 2020.
Under the agreement, the cryptocurrency-based sports betting platform is creating exclusive experiences to reward Arsenal’s large global fanbase and Sportsbet.io customers.
“Sportsbet.io will leverage access to our men’s and women’s teams to create compelling digital content that will engage our 80m+ digital following. This includes the 6m+ who follow Arsenal Women – the most followed women’s sports team on the planet.”
But Arsenal is not the only team Sportsbet.io is sponsoring.
Other Crazy Cryptocurrency Sponsorship Deals
Crypto.com is perhaps one of the biggest crypto casino sponsors in terms of money and seems to break record after record. They have signed a deal with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) to rename the Staples Centre (home to the Lakers) to The Crypto.com Arena which could be a deal worth more than $700 million, that will be stretching over 20 years.
It is also one of the sponsors of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and has signed a $100 million deal with Formula 1 racing.
Crypto trading platform Coinbase, on the other hand, signed a league agreement with NBA,
which is said to be worth $192 million over four years, and even Tom Brady described himself as a big crypto believer, after taking a stake in FTX.
Speaking of FTX, The Miami Heat Basketball team agreed to a 19-year deal worth $135 million with the crypto platform to promote cryptocurrency through exclusive stadium naming rights with the Miami Heat home officially renamed the FTX Arena.
And, last but not least, The UEFA European Championship signed an 8-year sponsorship deal that is reportedly worth $283.5 million with the Chinese crypto AntChain.
Is it a fad or a long-lasting opportunity?
If you look at trends in other industries, it does seem that the usefulness of sponsorships has historically lessened as the markets reached maturity but I can’t help to feel that this is not going to be the case for crypto casino sports sponsorships.
The sports betting market was valued at USD 76.75 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach USD 83.65 billion by 2022.
And, the global cryptocurrency market is projected to grow from $910.3 million in 2021 to $1902.5 million in 2028.
So, I can’t see this trend waning down anytime soon.