Sports partnerships are more than just a deal for major crypto companies – TechCrunch

In 2021, it felt like every week a crypto company was joining forces with a sports team or athlete. Fast-forward to today’s stagnant crypto market: Those partnerships still exist, but are less talked about.

I was wondering if these alliances were paying off in any meaningful way, so I asked a few people from major crypto companies and blockchains like FTX, Ava Labs, and Algorand to talk about it.

“Sports audiences tend to overlap with crypto,” Avi Dabir, vice president of business development at FTX, told TechCrunch. “You can reach a mass market by partnering with trusted teams, brands and athletes and your sports viewer is mostly in finance and crypto and so on.”

“A lot of people didn’t know anything about crypto and the brands in crypto. Sport has helped to strengthen and grow that.” Avi Dabir, Vice President of Business Development at FTX

FTX was one of the first crypto companies to really dive into sports partnerships. It started talking about partnerships with sports entities in January 2021 as it wanted to increase the value and awareness of its brand, Dabir said.

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Last year, FTX signed a $135 million 19-year deal with the Miami Heat to rename the home court to FTX Arena. The company is also the official crypto exchange sponsor of Major League Baseball and partners with individual athletes such as Tom Brady and Steph Curry.

“I really believe” [the partnerships] paid off,” said Dabir. “The things we look at — some are measurable and some are not.” The obvious measurement is how many people have signed up or downloaded the FTX app, but there are other aspects that are more difficult to quantify, he added.

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