The Fútbol Club Barcelona has opened the door to sponsor itself with cryptocurrency exchanges. The Catalan club rejected several offers from cryptocurrency companies last July, considering it a controversial business, according to information from the EFE agency. However, in the absence of income, a cryptocurrency exchange could become its main sponsor as of next season. The objective of the club, according to the newspaper 90min, is to get 60 million euros per season with this agreement. At the moment, it seems that the exchanges Binance and FTX are the most likely to appear on the Barcelona shirt next season.
Barcelona, Binance, FTX
Barcelona ends its sponsorship contract with Rakuten this season. This Japanese online sales company has been with Barça since 2017, in exchange for 55 million euros per season. However, the club seems to find this amount insufficient and has been forced to negotiate with companies linked to cryptocurrencies. In fact, many soccer and basketball teams around the world have already reached agreements with crypto companies. For example, the FTX exchange has become the official sponsor of Major League Baseball (MLB). It has also bought the name of the Miami Heat basketball court, which is now called FTX Arena (replacing American Airlines), and it will be in Super Bowl 2022.
Blockchain or how to capitalize on the passion for football and sports in general
The new bookmakers
Following the decision of the Spanish Ministry of Consumer Affairs to prohibit the appearance of bookmaker advertising on sports kits, numerous football teams have turned to cryptocurrency companies to get income due to the lack of sponsors. FC Barcelona itself has already signed with the blockchain service company Socios.com for its logo to appear on the sleeve of the kit next season.
The League will launch NFTs of all its players from the hand of Sorare
Since this season, Socios.com is also the sponsor of Levante UD, Valencia and Atlético de Madrid. These teams, in addition to displaying the company’s advertising on their shirts, also have their own fan tokens within Socios.com. For their part, Cádiz, Alavés, Espanyol, Celta de Vigo and the Spanish National Team have the cryptocurrency exchange Bitci as their main sponsor. The League itself reached a collaboration agreement at the beginning of the season with Sorare, a platform based on Blockchain technology specialized in collectible NFTs from the football field.
In Spain, the CNMV regulator is rained down by criticism for censuring Iniesta investing in cryptocurrencies
Iniesta, Binance y la CNMV
Cryptocurrency companies are not only knocking on clubs’ doors, they are also reaching deals with the players themselves. A particularly striking case was that of Andrés Iniesta. The former FC Barcelona player published a tweet in which he claimed to be learning with cryptocurrencies from the Binance exchange. The Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) did not find it appropriate and responded with another tweet to the footballer that crypto assets are not regulated. CNMV reminded Iniesta that cryptocurrencies have some relevant risks and that it is not advisable to recommend other users to invest in them. The regulator’s response was criticized on Twitter, considering that the CNMV was publicly exposing the footballer about something that the CNMV should have regulated long ago, such as the advertising of crypto assets.