Crypto Corner: The Sports Slice

NBA athletes popped up left and right in the crypto space this past week. Sports NFT platform Autograph teamed up with basketball brand SLAM. And seems to make headlines weekly with a new sponsorship deal, with the latest action resulting in a new partner in esports for the platform.

It was just another action-packed seven days in the headlines of sports and crypto. Let’s recap the past week’s latest.

The Sports Slice’s Latest Endeavor Into Esports has been quietly establishing a diverse roster of sports partnerships across a variety of different verticals. The exchange has found a partner in Formula 1, professional hockey, Italian soccer, and more. This past week took the platform into a new vertical, esports, for the first time yet.

The platform entered a five-year partnership deal with esports organization Fnatic worth $15MM. The deal will secure branding on Fnatic jerseys, offer unique fan rewards, and bring Fnatic NFTs to market in the future as well.

Crypto exchanges and projects continue to find well-established partnership deals in esports.

More Sports Dialogue: NBA Athlete Chatter Ramps Up

In a press release this week, former NBA guard Brandon Jennings partnered up with Blockparty. The deal also brings in Jennings’ clothing brand Tuff Crowd, and basketball content platform BallIsLife. The partnership will feature Tuff Crowd apparel as wearable NFTs online.

NBA guard Austin Rivers, who had an emergence in last season’s playoffs, posted on Twitter that he was “officially in the crypto currency world” and looking to learn more about NFTs. Another NBA guard, John Wall, who is rumored to be departing his Houston Rockets team before this coming season, echoed Rivers’ sentiments. Wall posted a tweet of his own, saying “I’m hopping into the NFT Wave! What are some projects I should look into?”

All of this comes just a week after NBA superstar Steph Curry sealed a formal partnership with crypto exchange FTX.

Related Reading | Survey Finds That 1 In 4 US Teens Would Rather Invest In Crypto

Autograph Pairs Up With SLAM

No layups around here. This past week, NFT platform Autograph, co-owned by Tom Brady and led by a star-studded board of directors full of top tier athletes, dipped their toes in the water with their first basketball endeavor.

The platform already has deals in place with the likes of Lionsgate and DraftKings. In enters SLAM to that growing partnerships roster. The once physical magazine that spearheaded basketball culture has gone digital, and now SLAM will take it’s recognizable magazine covers and make them available to NFT collectors through the DraftKings Marketplace.

Autograph has been around for just a few short months, but has been exceptionally aggressive in landing major athlete and brand partners to take sports NFTs by storm.

Algorand has taken a unique approach with sports sponsorship, finding partners in chess, racing, and now drone racing.  | Source: ALGO-USD on

Renowned Football Manager Mourinho Finds An Unlikely Partner

Portuguese football manager and former player Jose Mourinho is one of the most decorated managers in history. This past week, Mourinho found an unlikely partner in Mastercard UK to create a unique NFT featuring an animated ball with Mourinho’s signature. Mourinho is a Mastercard global ambassador and the NFT will be a one-of-one, raffled to UK cardholders. It marks the first time Mastercard has delved into NFTs.

You can read the full story here from our team at sister network NewsBTC.

Algorand Once Again Finds A Non-Traditional Sports Partner

Algorand has been finding some unique ways to engage with sport sponsorships lately. A couple weeks ago, in a Sports Slice to start the month, we covered Algorand’s deal with The Le Mans Virtual.

This past week brought more action to Algorand’s plate. The crypto platform shelled out a cool $100MM deal over five years for title rights with the Drone Racing League (DRL), according to CNBC.

Algorand joins a heavy-hitting list of DRL partners, including NBCUniversal and Twitter (who hold media and streaming rights), DraftKings, T-Mobile, and more.

The First MLS Club To Find A Crypto Partner

New partnerships and sponsorships admittedly seem to dominate the headlines of sports and crypto, and this past week was no exception. MLS club Inter Miami was one of the few remaining clubs to have not secured a front-of-jersey partner, and crypto firm XBTO stepped up to the plate.

XBTO recently opened a Miami office, making it a fitting partner for the club. Additionally, while deal terms are yet to be disclosed, Sports Business Journal cited that sources believed the deal was likely in the $4M to $5M range annually. It is the first time an MLS club has partnered with a crypto platform.

Related Reading | President Of Turkey Announces War Against Cryptocurrencies

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