The Turkish bitcoin exchange BtcTurk has become the first exchange to have its logo on a football team’s shirts. It has partnered with Turkish first division club Yeni Malatyaspor, and as revealed on Reddit, the stalwart Turkish crypto company recently signed a sponsorship agreement with the club that will feature its logo on the team kit for the current 2019/20 season.
Digital asset and blockchain firms are starting to become more visible in the sporting arena. For example, just last week, Manchester City, an English premiership team, announced a blockchain gaming partnership with South Korean sports service developer, Superbloke. Superbloke will incorporate Man City players into its “FC Superstars” online soccer game. The game allows users can build a digital team by trading and training Manchester City digital player cards using real-life football match stats.
Coinmarketcap.com has also agreed to sponsor the Beitar Jerusalem Football Club, an Israeli football team. Blockchain executive Alexandre Dreyfus congratulated CoinMarketCap, saying this is the just the beginning. Dreyfus tweeted: “Football and crypto ;) Getting there.”
And in July 2018, Gibraltar United became the first football team to pay its players in cryptocurrency. Getting paid in bitcoin is useful for foreign players who struggle to open bank accounts in Gibraltar. It also helps them avoid taxes and fees.
Alex Dreyfus, the CEO of Socios and Chiliz, told CCN that he’s bringing other top soccer clubs into the crypto-sphere. “We are focusing on on-boarding the biggest clubs in Europe,” Dreyfus said. “Outside of France, our priority is clubs in the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany.”
As CCN says, “On the surface, this might sound trivial. However, the implications are undeniable: The gradual integration of crypto into mainstream culture is a sign that virtual currencies like bitcoin aren’t going away.”
And in Turkey, the deal will almost surely boost BtcTurk and Bitcoin’s presence locally as football consistently remains Turkey’s most popular sport. BtcTurk CEO Özgür Güneri had the following to say: “And now, we are excited to make another breakthrough in our country and in the world, bringing Yeni Malatyaspor, one of the successful clubs in Turkey Super League and BtcTurk together. With this agreement, we have taken a significant step to increase awareness towards Bitcoin and contribute to healthy growth of cryptocurrency industry in Turkey as well.”