Sports, Brought to You by Your Favorite Crypto Companies
Crypto brands are making headlines with major sports sponsorships, stadium naming rights, and athlete endorsements. Is it worth it?
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One of the more interesting things to come out of cryptocurrency marketing this year is the major explosion in sports sponsorships. To name a few, we’ve seen…
Crypto.com signed with F1, which will feature the exchange’s branding trackside at all F1 races for the remainder of the 2021 season
Greyscale penned the NFL’s first crypto sponsorship with the New York Giants
Voyager sponsored NASCAR driver Landon Cassill in a 19-race deal
And even my employer, eToro, has continued to grow its partnership footprint with a number of professional soccer and racing teams across Europe
But the most exciting play so far this year is from FTX, an Asia-based exchange best known for its derivatives, options, volatility products, quickly growing in popularity here in the U.S. Founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been making headlines as a 29-year-old crypto billionaire, scoring profiles in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Magazine, Financial Times, and more.
He’s made quite a splash.
And now as FTX makes moves to grow its US user base, they’re making some pretty huge moves to raise the platform’s profile. Here’s a sample of some of the deals they’ve struck recently:
Won the naming rights of the Miami Heat stadium for $135M, becoming the first crypto business to get the name of a major U.S. professional sports venue, FTX Arena
Signed a long-term, global partnership with the MLB, making FTX the Official Cryptocurrency Exchange brand of MLB
Signed an equity deal with Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen for an undisclosed amount, making the two tier-A celebrities ambassadors for FTX
Signed a $120 million deal with eSports team TSM to change its name to TSM FTX
FTX-owned Blockfolio is the presenting partner of Capital One’s The Match, which actually airs today
Just one of these headlines from one company is a big deal. All of these headlines coming from one company, all in the same year, is a HUGE deal. Not only for FTX’s brand but also for the digital assets industry in general.
Pretty awesome. Props to Sam and his team.
Since these headlines broke into the news, a handful of people have reached out to me asking about the sports sponsorships approach.
Is this a good GTM (go-to-market) strategy for a new brand in a new industry? Are you able to actually get new paying customers from a sponsorship like this? Are deals like these worth the money?
Well, the answers to these questions are pretty complicated and subjective. Like any brand marketing activation, performance is only as good as you make it.
What should you consider when you’re looking into sponsoring a sports team?
1. Make Sure The Audience Matches Your Audience
The first thing to consider when you’re looking at sponsoring a sports team is whether your user base matches up with the fans of the team you’re negotiating with. There are a number of ways to dig into this:
you can survey your customers for their interests and affinities
you can review your customer data to understand where your audience is located
you can even review your customer data and infer whether populations of certain markets have overlap with your existing markets
Always consider your audience first before you activate a marketing campaign.
2. Get as Everything You Can From the Deal
Sports sponsorships are generally pretty flexible deals. The variables are simple -- your wallet and the team’s assets. Depending on the sport, location, fanbase, market, and your budget, you can negotiate anything as big as on-jersey logos and TV live reads, or as simple as in-market community activations.
Which of those things is more valuable to you and your brand depends on your business goals. Do you want to be a household name? Maybe a long-term naming rights deal is for you. Do you want to meet and acquire customers 1 on 1? Community engagement and athlete spokesperson deals could be your go-to.
At the end of the day, every deal is as flexible as your imagination. Always dream big and scale it down with the counter-party as you negotiate.
3. Build Out a Funnel for the Activation
Last and not least, it’s incredibly important for you to build out a funnel to help you capture and acquire new customers. We’re talking landing pages, lead forms, email drip campaigns, campaign messaging, graphic creatives, TV and radio scripts. The whole deal.
When you’re spending six to eight figures on a deal, you have to put as much effort into the activation as your counter-party. At the end of the day, your goal is to get new customers, retain your existing users, and grow your brand recognition. The more you put into it the more you’ll get out.
What is your favorite sports or celebrity sponsorship you’ve seen in fintech or crypto? I love hearing your hot takes every week.
Who’s Hiring Marketers in Crypto?
Brand Marketing Manager @ eToro US [APPLY]
Acquisition Marketing Manager @ eToro US [APPLY]
Marketing and Community Lead @ Compound [APPLY]
Social Media Associate @ Gemini [APPLY]
Communications Coordinator @ Ava Labs [APPLY]
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