Sports & Blockchain: Perfect Synergy

Computers & Technology

  • Author Victor Del Pino
  • Published February 10, 2024
  • Word count 992

Why are crypto companies so keen on collaborating with sports organizations?

I usually write articles about cryptocurrencies in the context of their impact on society and the economy. Nevertheless, today we will highlight one of the key elements of crypto in the marketing dimension.

Despite the fact that crypto marketing is based on the regular metrics and promotion channels of digital marketing, it still remains a unique type of PR. It is distinguished by two features that can also be labeled as challenges: technical obstacles in tracking conversions and targeting the intended audience, as well as the dubious reputation of crypto among the masses. And while the first problem can be mitigated solely by new software, the reduction of reputational risks is achieved through a rather more complex strategy.

The truth is that creating a positive brand image for crypto is the most important element of every crypto company and at the same time a primary mission for the industry by and large. And in fact, digital exchanges and projects are surprisingly successful in this task, because over the ten years of the crypto boom, they have managed not only to improve the reputation of digital assets and bring them to the mainstream level, but also to lay down the canons of crypto marketing. Among ones are airdrops/retrodrops, educational hubs, and comprehensive communication strategies. However, the most unique element turned out to be collaboration.

The cornerstones of crypto marketing, collaborations mainly contribute to the mass adoption of the industry, and that is why they differ significantly in their nature. This can be either cooperation with brands (such as Polygon and Bentley), and famous personalities (Binance and Cristiano Ronaldo) or full cooperation with educational organizations and government agencies (such as WhiteBIT’s joint activities with the Diia — ukrainian state-run application for administrative services, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine).

Nevertheless, specifically sports occupy a special place in the list of crypto collaboration objects. Almost every crypto exchange cooperates with athletes, sports teams, and organizations, and the last year has been a breakthrough one for such a type of promotion.

2022 and 2023 — the years of sports collaborations

Perhaps the most high-profile partnership this year was Binance’s partnership with the famous Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, who took part in several advertising promotions from the exchange and even created an NFT on it. In general, the footballer can be considered a partial ambassador of Binance.

Nevertheless, the European crypto exchange with Ukrainian roots, WhiteBIT, is also actively integrated into the world of football, having become the official crypto partner of FC Barcelona last year and a partner of Turkish FC Trabzonspor this year, not to mention the official partnership with the Ukrainian national football team.

Still, WhiteBIT is not limiting itself to the sports collaborations, but also facilitates the implementation of the Web3 technologies into the sphere. Namely, they collaborated with Blocksport — a service offering IT and Web3 solutions for the sports.

In addition to football, motor racing is an incredibly popular sport, and it is especially fond of crypto, with a great number of popular crypto exchanges that have formed partnerships with Formula 1 teams. In particular, the American exchange Kraken sponsors the Williams Racing F1 team, Binance sponsors Alpine, OKX and Tezos sponsor McLaren, and ByBit sponsors Red Bull.

McLaren bolide in livery created in collaboration with OKX crypto exchange. Source: Hypebeast

However, cryptocurrency collaborations with representatives of the esports industry remain the most priority areas in terms of promotion expediency. For example, ByBit has sponsored a large number of esports tournaments and even organized its own, and the aforementioned WhiteBIT crypto exchange is a partner of DreamHack and Faceit, with which it often organizes joint initiatives.

Why are sports collaborations so important for crypto marketing?

In fact, the tendency to popularize a product or service by collaborating with a sports organization or athletes is not new (I bet you will remember Lay’s chips ads with Lionel Messi, or Turkish Airlines short meters with him and basketball player Kobe Bryant). Nevertheless, such an overwhelming popularity of this type of promotion within a single sphere is only typical for the crypto industry.

There are several reasons for the success of sports crypto collaborations, and in order to identify them, it is worth mentioning the key vector of PR in the industry, namely reputation improvement.

For example, athletes have always been associated with success and resilience, and sports in general are also associated with prestige. The perception of sports together with crypto obviously enhances the reputation of the digital asset industry with something outstanding, unique, and at the same time difficult — that is, a field in which only the persistent succeed.

Moreover, both sports teams and individuals in the industry have a great deal of public authority. This means that they set trends, and people follow them. This state of affairs plays in favor of cryptocurrencies, which people simultaneously begin to trust, appealing to a certain sports authority.

It is also worth noting that sports cryptocollaborations have a more objective basis. Sports is an interest that is inherent in perhaps the widest and most diverse range of audiences. Given this, it becomes obvious that sports promotion is a fairly effective method of increasing brand awareness, improving its reputation, and accelerating the mass adoption of crypto at the institutional and cultural levels.

Moreover, sports as an interest makes it possible to segment the audience more clearly depending on its types, the popularity of teams among certain groups of people, and other equally important criteria. For example, the cryptocurrency industry uses this advantage, from time to time focusing its promotion on the esports sphere, which is of interest to young people who are inclined to use and understand IT.

Crypto has really changed marketing. Having added a huge number of innovations and created its own theoretical framework, crypto PR has every right to be considered as a separate area, not just an element of marketing.

Content | Blockchain | UX Writer | Crypto News | Analytics

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