- The Philadelphia 76ers have announced cryptocurrency services company Crypto.com as the team’s official jersey patch partner.
- Crypto.com has already partnered with a wide range of sports properties including the NHL Montreal Canadians, the Aston Martin Formula 1 team and Italy’s Serie A soccer league.
- Earlier this year, the Miami Heat signed on crypto exchange FTX as the new naming partner for their arena replacing American Airlines.
By now everyone knows that all professional sports are looking for new revenue streams including jersey advertising. The NHL is planning to start a limited jersey sponsorship scheme for the 2022-2023 season with likely more to come. The NBA has had a very subtle jersey sponsorship program since Nike took over as the league’s uniform and apparel maker in 2017. Each NBA team is allowed to sell a ‘sponsorship patch’ to be featured over the front left shoulder on player uniforms. The patches are so subtle as to not be noticed by the casual observer but that hasn’t stopped teams from demanding big money for the ‘real estate’. The Los Angeles Lakers, for example, just named Korean food company Bibigo as their new jersey patch sponsor. Bibigo will pay the Lakers more than $100 million USD over five years.
The Philadelphia 76ers have announced a patch partnership with an even more intriguing company–cryptocurrency services firm Crypto.com. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. Crypto.com has done a variety of sponsorship deals in other sports but this is their first NBA partnership. As part of the deal, the 76ers will launch their own non-fungible token (NFT) that will be available for purchase through the Crypto.com platform. Chris Heck, 76ers President of Business Operations, shared his thoughts about the partnership with Crypto.com:
“We are thrilled to launch a long-term partnership with such a progressive team at Crypto.com, a company that shares our drive for greatness. Crypto.com will be woven into the fabric of our identity, and together, we will change the landscape for how crypto is integrated in sports. We will also leverage Crypto.com’s forward-thinking, global expertise to unveil our first-ever NFT program. These are the types of creative, innovative partnerships that we crave, and we’re thrilled to share this with our fans in Philadelphia and around the world for years to come.”
Crypto.com has a diverse group of partners in the sports’ world as the press release announcing the deal outlines:
Crypto.com has partnered with world-class organizations and brands including Formula 1, UFC, Paris Saint-Germain, and the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens among others. Crypto.com recently launched Crypto.com NFT, the premier platform for collecting and trading NFTs, carefully curated from the worlds of art, design, entertainment, and sports.
The Crypto.com logo will be featured on all four versions of the Sixers’ uniform for the upcoming season including the new ‘City edition’ design that will drop in November. The launch of the alternate uniform will also be commemorated with a series of NFTs available for purchase of the Crypto.com platform. Jerseys featuring the new Crypto.com patch will be available for purchase at SixersShop.com or at the Official Team Store at the Wells Fargo Center arena in Philadelphia.
Kris Marszalek, co-founder & CEO of Crypto.com, is excited to expand his company’s sports portfolio to include the NBA:
“We’re extremely excited to announce our partnership with the 76ers, becoming the first global crypto platform with an official jersey patch partnership in the NBA. The NBA is one of the most popular leagues in the world, and the 76ers were an obvious choice. Together we’re going to create integrated experiences for fans everywhere; our patch and court integrations are just the beginning.”
The deal will include additional brand promotion for Crypto.com as described by the press release:
Crypto.com will also appear in-arena on the baseline apron and courtside LED screens, be present within the 76ers Fan Hub, sponsor rewards for fans and present a Crypto.com school to educate fans on cryptocurrency. In addition, the deal includes a substantial presence across all platforms including regional, national and global television broadcasts, digital channels such as Sixers.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, player branding (uniforms) across digital, print and out-of-home advertising, team and league websites, team collateral and all team publications and photos. Crypto.com will also have rights to the 76ers’ name and marks in marketing and advertising as well as be an official international marketing partner of the team.
The Sixers/Crypto.com deal is actually the second patch partnership involving a cryptocurrency firm. Earlier this year, the Portland Trail Blazers announced a jersey patch sponsorship deal with crypto based e-commerce company StormX. There have been other crypto firms announcing NBA sponsorship deals this year with the most significant likely being the arena naming rights deal that FTX inked with the Miami Heat. That deal resulted in the Heat’s home arena being rebranded as the ‘FTX Arena‘ after a long run as the ‘American Airlines Arena’.
The Sixers have released a video with a preview of the Crypto.com uniform patches: