Philadelphia Sixers Don’t Shy Away At Shot To Enter Crypto And NFT World

Posted By Derek Helling on September 22, 2021

Cryptocurrency is the fastest-growing sponsorship category for professional sports teams, and that phenomenon has now touched Philadelphia. A new partnership with Crypto.com will –  among other things – produce a series of Philadelphia 76ers NFTs fans can purchase.

Crypto.com will also be a new jersey ad sponsor for the Philadelphia Sixers. Perhaps most importantly, fans and sports bettors in PA and elsewhere can learn more about blockchain technology, digital collectibles, and cryptocurrency.

76ers first in NBA to team with crypto

On Wednesday, news about the partnership broke. Joanna Ossinger of Bloomberg says that this is Crypto.com’s first partnership in the NBA. However, it’s far from the company’s first sports sponsorship deal.

Sixers jersey patch

The most noticeable element of the partnership for many 76ers fans will be a jersey patch on the team’s uniforms starting in the 76ers 2021-22 season. Kevin Negandhi tweeted the Sixers will unveil their new City edition uniform in November. For now, we just get a peak at the crypto.com jersey patch.

 

Those assets include the Montréal Canadiens, Formula 1, and Paris Saint-Germain. Neither party has disclosed the value of this deal. Ossinger says that Crypto.com’s entire portfolio of sports sponsorships is worth over $400 million, however.

Kris Marszalek, co-founder and CEO of Crypto.com, commented in an email:

“The Philadelphia 76ers are a perfect fit for our world-class roster of sports partners. Not only will we see great brand exposure, but I’m especially excited about the unique experiences for fans we’ll create together.”

 

How to buy Sixers NFTs

At the same time, a growing number of fans are likely to embrace the digital collectibles that Crypto will produce in collaboration with the team. The Sixers tweeted:

For what comes next. introducing our debut series of digital collectibles. coming soon to @crypto.com. #CryptoComNFT

Just how many 76ers fans might be interested in the NFTs is uncertain. The two partners in this relationship aim to do something about exactly that, though.

Sports fans likely to be interested in crypto

As part of the deal, Crypto.com will educate interested fans about how the blockchain works. The investment could pay off. Alex Silverman of Morning Consult points to research about sports fans and cryptocurrency.

The polling shows that self-identified sports fans are nearly twice as likely to be aware of cryptocurrency than people who do not identify that way. While the research doesn’t point to any connection to the 76ers themselves, it does state that 52% of respondents who call themselves fans of the NBA as a whole are either somewhat or very familiar with cryptocurrency.

Thus, sports are a natural way for cryptocurrency dealers to market products to an audience likely to have some interest. Others have read the tea leaves to the same conclusion.

Recently, DraftKings launched its own marketplace with a curated set of NFTs exclusive to its platform. DraftKings NFTs such as the ones for Tom Brady and Derek Jeter sold out in minutes.

Any 76ers fans who might feel left in the dark by this terminology need not worry. Plain-language content making the entire process will be easily accessible.

“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,” said Chris Heck, 76ers president of business operations in a statement.

While the 76ers might not lead the NBA’s Eastern Conference in the standings this season, they are undoubtedly setting the standard for the league in this regard. As a result, 76ers fans could be among the most knowledgeable about NFTs.

Lead image via Sixers Twitter

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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