Crypto Corner: The Sports Slice

Sports are a way for fans to step away from life’s daily grind and escape for a bit. Meanwhile, for more and more users, crypto is something people can’t live without. It makes for a fitting crossover of engagement, with new partnerships and projects coming to life each week. That’s what we here at Bitcoinist look to cover every Sunday with ‘The Sports Slice.’

This past week, we saw another Dapper Labs partner come into the mix, the NBA’s Sacramento Kings found a new innovative partner in crypto, and Binance locked in a jersey deal for one of Europe’s most recognizable soccer clubs. As always, let’s jump into these stories and more to briefly recap all of the past week’s action.

The Sports Slice

Dapper Pairs Up With Kevin Durant’s Boardroom 

Dapper Labs is becoming ingrained in sports NFTs in a way that few other platforms are even coming close to. Recent months have secured or released IP from sports leagues like the WNBA, LaLiga, and the NFL.

Additionally, new athlete buy-in pours in each month as professional stars see the potential for a fresh new wave of fan engagement, not to mention substantial revenue generation. The NBA’s Kevin Durant is one of the league’s most talented stars and this past week, teamed up with Dapper Labs by way of business venture Thirty Five Ventures, who own media platform Boardroom. Dapper’s Top Shot product will engage in co-branded activations through Boardroom, with Durant being “prominently included.”

This is seemingly a win for all parties: Dapper receives more media exposure to a direct audience, Durant gets more positive media coverage, and Boardroom gains media assets to continue churning out basketball content.

Ankr: Fit For A King

The Sacramento Kings may be in rebuild mode, building around a young core of talented guards including De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Tyrese Haliburton. However, the franchise is also bringing in young, innovative partnerships too. In an announcement on NBA.com this week, the Kings are pairing up with Ethereum-based Web3 infrastructure and cross-chain DeFi platform Ankr.

The Kings have been named Fast Company’s “most innovative company in sports” in recent years, and have partnered with a number of different crypto-first companies in recent years. The team piloted the first-ever smart ticket NFT program during Summer League games, and ownership was one of the first to discuss the potential of paying players in crypto. Additionally, the team has previously paired up with crypto-first firms like Blockparty, Manifold, and others for a variety of different crypto integrations.

Another Bruins Token Is Brewin’

In a Sports Slice briefing last month, we covered the story of UCLA basketball guard Jaylen Clark, who was the first collegiate athlete to have his own token, $JROCK. This past week, another UCLA guard joined the ranks. Like Clark, Bruins point guard Tyger Campbell is teaming up with Rally to introduce $TYGER.

“I’m looking forward to connecting with my fans/community to offer limited merchandise giveaways, opportunities to challenge me in Super Smash Bros. and chess, as well as get some exclusive access to me and my career,” said Campbell regarding the token’s release.

Safe to say – it’s a new generation of fan engagement.

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The Untapped Sports Vertical For Chiliz: Tennis

If you’re getting tired of hearing about Chiliz every week, you can’t blame us. The fan engagement token platform has had their foot firmly on the gas locking in new, noteworthy sports partnerships with teams and leagues every single week for months on end. This past week, Chiliz locked in legacy NBA franchise Los Angeles Lakers as a Socios.com partner.

The platform isn’t hesitating when it comes to exploring new areas, either. In last week’s Sports Slice, we covered commentary from Chiliz and Socios.com CEO Alexandre Dreyfus, who desired tokenization of “brands, media, entertainment (TV, music) and retail.”

Now, Chiliz and Socios.com are already tapping in to new territory. One vertical we haven’t seen much exploration in yet is tennis – but an announcement this past week is changing that. Socios.com is locking in the Davis Cup as a partner for new token, $DAVIS. Known as the ‘World Cup of Tennis,’ the Davis Cup will be one of the first major tennis events to partner with Socios.com and Chiliz.

This is likely the tip of the ‘exploration iceberg’ for Chiliz and Socios.com, if Dreyfus’ recent sentiments are any indication of moves to come.

Screen Shot 2021 10 17 at 3.53.02 PM

Screen Shot 2021 10 17 at 3.53.02 PM

Chiliz (CHZ) and Socios.com have been aggressively pursuing sports teams and leagues partners - and could be securing partners beyond that world soon too. | Source: CHZ-USD on TradingView.com

Lazio Pairs With Binance

When it comes to sports engagement, we hear a good amount about exchanges like Coinbase and FTX – both of which have been particularly aggressive in securing sports partnerships deals. One name we haven’t heard a lot of? Binance. This past week, we can change that.

Italy’s Lazio, a premier club in the Serie A soccer league, has locked in Binance as a jersey sponsor in a two-year deal (with option to extend) valued at nearly $35M USD. The deal marks the third club in Serie A to partner with a crypto firm (behind Inter Milan and AS Roma).

The partnership includes primary jersey sponsorship rights and will solidify Binance as the primary distributor of Lazio’s fan token engagement.

Related Reading | NFTs In A Nutshell: A Weekly Review

Featured image from Pixabay, Charts from TradingView.com

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