NFL Approves Limited Blockchain Sponsorships — How Further Crypto/NFT Lenience Could Expand Profits Exponentially

Bitcoin law stock photo
May Lim / iStock.com

As the sports world and the crypto space are becoming increasingly intertwined, the NFL — partially reversing an earlier business decision — said it will now allow teams limited permission to seek blockchain sponsorships.

See: Crypto Regulation: Proof-of-Work Bitcoin Mining Could Be Banned in New York Due to Climate Concerns
Find: 10 Remote Jobs That Will Help You Break Into the World of NFTs

In a March 22 memo obtained by CNBC, the NFL said it made the decision to allow “promotional relationships without undertaking excessive regulator or brand risk” after it completed an evaluation of the technology. The permissions, which are subject to the NFL’s approval, exclude stadium signage. For now, restrictions remain in place concerning specific cryptocurrencies and fan tokens, which can be exchanged for merchandise and experiences, per the memo. 

“Clubs will continue to be prohibited from directly promoting cryptocurrency,” the memo reads, according to CNBC.

Toby Gilbert, CEO of Coinweb, told GOBankingRates that the recent decision by the NFL to allow for limited blockchain sponsorships is just the latest example of a continued mainstreaming of blockchain technology — and cryptocurrencies — in the U.S. and North America more broadly. 

“Advertisers, professional sports leagues, and the larger entertainment industry are playing catch-up with the rest of the world in this regard, and they risk missing out on tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in added revenue if they don’t keep pace,” Gilbert said.

Building Wealth

“It is laughable that so many — including the NFL — are still taking a piecemeal approach to providing blockchain and crypto companies with a voice on their platforms when they have long embraced industries such as alcohol and gambling, but it is a welcome sign nonetheless.”

On the flip side, the crypto space hasn’t been shy about increasingly courting the sports industry in recent months, a phenomenon which was particularly notable during the Super Bowl. 

Take for example crypto exchange FTX, which not only made its Big Game debut, but also gave away a large amount of Bitcoin as an added viewer incentive. This is not FTX’s first foray into the sports industry: In June of 2021 the company struck a $135 million deal to rename the Miami Heat’s stadium the FTX Arena. Crypto.com — which bought the (former) Staples Arena naming rights in Nov. 2021 for $700 million, also ran its first Super Bowl ad. 

And last April, newly-non-retired NFL icon Tom Brady also jumped on the NFT bandwagon, launching an NFT platform, Autograph, alongside an array of big names from the sports and entertainment industries, as GOBankingRates previously reported. 

Mark Elenowitz, co-founder of Upstream, told GOBankingRates the fact that one of the most prominent sports leagues and entertainment bodies in the world is embracing this critical technological innovation is the latest sign that authorities around the world are going to have to develop common-sense regulation when it comes to crypto. 

Building Wealth

“NFTs specifically have tremendous use for everyday people, businesses, and influencers, when not deemed to be a security. Regulation is important when it applies to investor protections around trading, retail investors and speculation but fan based NFTs shouldn’t be overlooked or regulated into the ground,” he said.

Learn: Global NFT Sales Hit Record $7 Billion in January Despite Crypto Slump
Explore: Robinhood’s New Debit Card Lets You Earn Crypto As You Shop

“They are growing in cultural significance, both in the United States and abroad. This innovation should be fostered and encouraged by government bodies around the world.”

More From GOBankingRates

Share this article:

Building Wealth

About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
Learn More

Best Bank Accounts for September 2022

Untitled design (1)
Close popup The GBR Closer icon

Sending you timely financial stories that you can bank on.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for the latest financial news and trending topics.

Loading...
Please enter an email.
Please enter a valid email address.
There was an unknown error. Please try again later.

For our full Privacy Policy, click here.