A Beautiful and Healthy Relationship
It has become abundantly clear, that professional sports and crypto can mutually benefit from one another.
The union between sports and cryptocurrency is on the rise.
You may be asking yourself, “why”. And it’s understandable to question cryptocurrencies and their future application to everyday life…let alone sports. But cryptocurrency is just one aspect of this future technology can improve the quality of our lives.
For starters, let’s look at the operational efficiencies created by the use of cryptocurrency and blockchain in sports. Teams and athletes can be paid directly through blockchain and smart contracts. This leads to safe, secure, and instant transactions between two parties.
One of the first companies to bring cryptocurrency to the sporting arena was eToro, an Israeli-based online investment platform. They announced their partnership with seven premier league teams — Tottenham, Leicester City, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Southampton, and Brighton & Hove Albion — this past summer. Each club is receiving sponsorship money in return for promoting the platform. eToro claims to be the first brand to pay for sponsorships using bitcoin. Instead of fiat currency, payments will be made to players and the team using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Instead of transferring the currency through a central banking system, the money will be placed instantly into the player’s eToro wallets.
While the move was said to be PR related, Iqbal V. Gandham, UK CEO at eToro cited some of the benefits which includes enhanced transparency, instant payments, and simplified accountancy procedures. A win-win for all involved.
To make all this possible, eToro partnered with SportsQuake, a sports marketing agency, for strategic assistance and planning in their efforts to reinvent the football marketplace.
Gandham, stated, “The blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin brings transparency, which we believe can improve the experience for everyone who love the ‘beautiful game,’ from fans being targeted by ticket touts, or a club negotiating a transfer, we believe blockchain will revolutionize the world of football.”
So when will the shift to Bitcoin begin?
According to an update in an article on Crypto Disrupt eToro UK CEO Gandham stated:
“I do feel that within about six to twelve months we will see a player transfer in the Premier League completed using bitcoin.”
Other professional sports teams like the Sacramento Kings (NBA) have taken advantage of the cryptocurrency movement by accepting bitcoin as payment for tickets and merchandise. The Kings confirmed this past offseason that they will begin mining Ethereum at the Golden 1 Center facilities. The Ether will be used to fund a multi-year scholarship program to support Sacramento-based causes. The Dallas Mavericks followed suit, as they also began accepting Bitcoin as payment for merchandise and ticket sales for the 2018–2019 season.
So why does this transition from traditional fiat to cryptocurrency make sense within the sporting world? Not only will teams/athletes save on transfer costs, but the entire process will become more streamlined. Effectively taking away the need for the middleman, like centralized banks. Transactions have the potential to occur instantaneously and – for the most part – be tax-free.
According to Gandham, foreign players could send the currency back to their families residing in poorer regions, while avoiding costly banking fees. Such a transfer would also bring much-needed capital and stability to struggling countries.
The impact of cryptocurrency in the sports world has a chance to be monumentally positive. There is a mutual relevance between the two parties. On one hand, the crypto world can leverage the popularity of sports to create greater exposure and publicity — leading to mass adoption of these technologies.
And on the other hand, sports teams, leagues, and athletes will all benefit financially from these adoptions while keeping the fans of their respective sports engaged by evolving with the technological world outside of sport.