Značka: sports

Year of sponsorships: Celebrities who embraced crypto in 2021

Though the crypto space has seemingly moved beyond the endorsements many minor celebrities bestowed on token projects during the 2018 initial coin offering boom, its growing popularity and acceptance now has professional sports players, Hollywood elites and politicians backing major companies dealing with digital assets.In June 2021, Kim Kardashian promoted EthereumMax (EMAX) via an Instagram story shared with her more than 200 million followers. The token, which was used as payment for online ticket purchases for some pay-per-view events, gained 116,000% in just one week following the celebrity’s activity before falling more than 99% and leaving many investors in the red.Kim Kardashian promoting EthereumMax on Instagram Stories, June 2021. Source: InstagramThough EthereumMax is somewhat of a cautionary tale for crypto newbies looking to get involved in the space, it also represents one of the select times a major international figure outside of finance and politics not only spoke about digital assets but actively promoted a specific project for a fee — the story was labeled as an ad. Kardashian, recognized by many as an A-list celebrity, rose to fame largely outside of Hollywood circles, so her seeming stamp of approval on a token project was a surprise to many.Others in film and television entered the crypto space for the first time in 2021 following months of time spent mostly indoors during the worst waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mila Kunis, an actress famous for her roles in That ’70s Show and Family Guy, launched an animated nonfungible token (NFT) project based on cats who drink alcohol and smoke marijuana. However, the biggest endorsement of a crypto firm last year arguably came from film star Matt Damon, who appeared in a global ad spot for Crypto.com.Sports franchises also branched into crypto, either through official partnerships with exchanges or with individual players promoting certain campaigns or companies. Tom Brady, quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a seven-time Super Bowl champion, took an equity stake in crypto exchange FTX and is currently acting as an ambassador for the firm following an endorsement deal in June. His wife, Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, accepted a role as the exchange’s environmental and social initiatives adviser.“This particular opportunity showed us the importance of educating people about the power of crypto while simultaneously giving back to our communities and planet,” said Brady at the time.Cash App, a digital payments app developed by Block (formally known as Square), has also formed partnerships with NFL players, allowing them to receive their salaries in Bitcoin (BTC), amounting to millions of dollars. Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams, announced in November that he would be taking his $4.25-million salary in crypto. The professional athlete currently has a CryptoPunk-style image as his Twitter profile picture. Cash App offered a similar deal to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who later found a place in the national spotlight after deceiving the public about his COVID-19 vaccination status.With the exception of Kardashian, celebrities jumping into the space in 2021, compared with those who followed the 2017 bull run, seem to be partnering with more established firms and projects with enough exposure to shake off any potential “scam” label. It’s unclear whether this can be attributed to the space seemingly gaining more acceptance across the world or to companies growing to the point where they have the financial means and influence to hire more prominent public figures.NFTs saw their share of celebrities last year, as well. In March, Canadian musician Grimes — sometimes associated with Tesla CEO and Dogecoin (DOGE) proponent Elon Musk — sold roughly $6 million worth of NFTs encompassing artwork and audio-visual animations. In December, NBA star Kevin Durant and sports manager Rich Kleiman announced that their venture capital firm, Thirty Five Ventures, would be partnering with crypto exchange Coinbase to create NFT drops. Musical artists such as Katy Perry, Kings of Leon, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Jay-Z, Shakira and others also launched similar initiatives in the NFT space last year.The trend of celebrities endorsing crypto is not without its detractors, however. Ben McKenzie, known for his roles on TV shows such as Gotham and The O.C., partnered with New Republic staff writer Jacob Silverman to call out actors and influencers for promoting the “illusory” rewards of cryptocurrencies. The pair have criticized Kardashian and others for seemingly labeling crypto projects as “a path to sustainable riches” without informing fans of the potential risks. Thank you @CNN for covering this story. There is an enormous amount of fraud in the crypto markets. Jacob and I will write about it at length. Please be smart folks, only gamble with what you can afford to lose. https://t.co/Q6muDzT4LS— Ben McKenzie (@ben_mckenzie) November 30, 2021“Whether it’s Lindsay Lohan peddling five-figure NFTs, laser-eyed Tom Brady endorsing the exchange FTX, or Akon promising to build a $6 billion, crypto-inspired city in Senegal, there’s a lot of capital swirling around this industry, and much cause for worry,” said McKenzie and Silverman in November. “Celebrities are encouraging their fans to gamble on speculative, unproven investments that may soon see a major regulatory crackdown, if not an outright implosion of the market.”Whether celebrity attention will help on the road to mass adoption remains to be seen. For the moment, associations between respected public figures and established crypto firms show many promising signs, from increasingly positive social media chatter to some correlations with price movements, often an indication of large buys and sells.

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Crypto exchanges aim for home run at Super Bowl 2022

Crypto exchange platforms Crypto.com and FTX will run advertising commercials at the Super Bowl LVI 2022 on Feb. 13. Both exchanges have been working tirelessly to establish their brands and penetrate the United States market. Super Bowl advertisements are known to be very costly, with rates going above $5 million for just 30 seconds. Some sponsors are even willing to pay up to a record high of $6.5 million for the same air time. Recently, Crypto.com also announced a partnership with Angel City Football Club, a soccer team that’s expected to play in 2022. Aside from this, the exchange’s efforts include securing naming rights for Staples Center. The exchange purchased naming rights for $700 million over 20 years. With this, Staples Center is renamed into Crypto.com Arena this December.In an official announcement, Crypto.com Co-Founder and CEO Kris Marszalek said that they are using their platform “in new and creative ways so that cryptocurrency can power the future of world-class sports, entertainment, and technology.”Meanwhile, FTX also dedicates a large sum of its advertising budget to bolstering brand recognition in the U.S. In October, the exchange confirmed that they would be running an ad in the upcoming Super Bowl. The exchange also got Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen to star in a $20-million ad campaign. Related: FC Barcelona, Man City canceled crypto deals show cash is not everythingEarlier this year, FTX also secured naming rights for a U.S. stadium. The exchange reportedly paid $135 million for a 19-year contract to rename Miami Heat’s home stadium into the FTX Arena. Back in 2020, blockchain penetrated the Super Bowl through non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Non-profit trade group Avocados from Mexico inserted NFTs in their advertising campaign. With this, users can collect digital avocados and are able to win blockchain-based rewards. According to Ivonne Kinser, the Head of Digital Marketing at Avocados from Mexico, the results were overwhelmingly positive. Kinser said they delivered “3.2 billion social impressions” through the ad campaign.

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Crypto​.com partners with Los Angeles' Angel City Football Club

Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has inked another deal to expand its brand recognition in the United States with the professional women’s sports team Angel City Football Club.In a Tuesday announcement, Crypto.com said it had partnered with the Los Angeles soccer team in an effort to increase the awareness of and access to crypto, blockchain and Web 3.0 among Angelenos, soccer fans and the athletes themselves. The exchange said it plans to continue looking for “unique and impactful ways” to invest in L.A., with the partnership aimed at encouraging “financial education, independence and financial empowerment” for women.“Given the speed with which Web 3.0 and cryptocurrency is changing our world, we want to ensure that women are being brought along on the journey as investors and creators,” said Angel City Football Club co-founder and president Julie Uhrman. “We are excited to work with [Crypto.com] to educate our community and players on crypto and allow our players to use the power of NFTs to connect with and create a deeper relationship with their fans.” The partnership is the crypto exchange’s latest expansion into Los Angeles. Crypto.com announced in November that it had secured the naming rights to the city’s multi-purpose Staples Center for 20 years in a $700 million deal. The venue — expected to officially change names on Saturday — has been home to the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers, as well as the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.I took some photos around Staples Center before the final changes to becoming Crypto. The iconic Staples Center letters are gone, and blue is the new theme. We’re in the final stages of the conversion.https://t.co/wLEgslWpDR— Farbod Esnaashari (@Farbod_E) December 21, 2021Related: Angelenos push back on new Crypto.com arena: ‘It will always be the Staples Center’As it grows, Crypto.com has been partnering with high-profile individuals and companies to promote cryptocurrencies and blockchain. In July, the company signed a $175-million sponsorship agreement with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Actor Matt Damon also appeared in ads released around the world beginning in October.

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Crypto exchange FTX US partners with four Washington, DC sports teams

The company behind four major Washington, D.C.-based professional sports teams has announced FTX US will be its official crypto exchange and nonfungible token partner.In a Monday announcement, Monumental Sports and Entertainment, or MSE, said FTX US would be the official crypto partner of the Washington Capitals hockey team, the Washington Wizards men’s basketball team, the Washington Mystics women’s basketball team and the Capital City Go-Go basketball team as part of a multi-year deal. According to MSE, FTX US’ NFT platform will have exclusive rights to future token drops by the four teams and the exchange will be a partner for an in-game highlight series, dubbed “Big Block-Chain.”“The integration of blockchain technology with the sports experience has only just begun, and together we are going to advance to an entirely new frontier, which will ignite fans beyond what they can even imagine today,” said Jim Van Stone, MSE president of business operations and the firm’s chief commercial officer.The announcement is the latest partnership between FTX US and major sports franchises in the United States. In March, the crypto exchange’s operator, FTX, reached a $135-million agreement to secure naming rights for the Miami Heat’s home stadium, which will be called the FTX Arena until at least 2040. The firm has also been an official sponsor of Major League Baseball since June and partnered with the University of Kentucky to allow its Wildcats men’s basketball team to act as brand ambassadors.Related: Jack in the Box claims in court FTX US ripped off its character to create ‘Moon Man’One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, FTX had a valuation of more than $25 billion following a $420 million funding round in October. The company launched its NFT marketplace for U.S. customers in September.

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Voyager Digital will be crypto brokerage partner for National Women's Soccer League

Crypto trading platform Voyager Digital has inked a deal with the National Women’s Soccer League, or NWSL, aiming to provide players crypto education and financial support.In a Tuesday announcement, Voyager said it would become the league’s first cryptocurrency brokerage partner as part of a multi-year deal. The trading platform said a “significant amount” of the investment would fund rostered players’ crypto accounts. There are expected to be 12 teams in the NWSL starting in 2022, so up to 312 players could benefit from the Voyager partnership.”Voyager’s investment in the league is especially innovative because we’ve collectively designed the partnership to include direct financial resources for every one of our players, as well as education on the revolutionary changes underway in digital assets,” said NWSL interim CEO Marla Messing. Soccer ball. Source: PexelsAs part of the deal with Voyager, one player from each of the NWSL’s teams will act as an ambassador, attending educational events and creating crypto-related content. The exchange said it would be offering “key lessons and tools” aimed at helping players develop long-term financial growth opportunities after their sports careers had ended.Many crypto companies and platforms have formed partnerships with sports organizations across the globe as the space expands and seemingly becomes more profitable as a sponsor. Voyager is already the crypto brokerage and international partner for the Dallas Mavericks basketball team following an October deal. Crypto derivatives exchange FTX also announced it had become the official sponsor of Major League Baseball in June.Related: Crypto.com partners with Italian football’s Lega Serie AFounded in 2018, Voyager Digital currently offers more than 60 digital assets for trading on its mobile app, which also includes services such as yield farming. In October, the platform announced it had received a $75 million investment from crypto quantitative trading firm and liquidity provider Alameda Research.

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