eToro signs a deal with 7 EPL clubsJake Cooper | 14 Sep 2018
The English Premier League or EPL is the most watched sports league in the world, attracting an average of 4.7 billion viewers per match and a huge number of bets over the course of the season. It is not surprising then that EPL advertising is a veritable goldmine for sponsorship companies.
The latest company to sign a deal with 7 Premier League clubs is Social Trading Network giant eToro. The fact that a new deal has been signed is not newsworthy in itself. What is interesting however, is the fact that the teams will be paid in Bitcoin (BTC).
eToro is a global multi-asset platform trading company specialising in cryptocurrency and investments. Using the platform, people can buy, sell or trade popular cryptocurrencies as well as traditional investment options. Getting the companies name associated with English Premier League clubs is major step forward for their advertising team.
What the Deal Involves?
According to a press release, eToro has signed sponsorship deals with 7 clubs, including 2015/16 Champions Leicester and Tottenham Hotspur who finished 3rd on the log last season. The remaining 5 teams teaming up with eToro include Crystal Palace, Cardiff City, Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion as well as Southampton. According to the terms of the deal, the teams will all be given digital cryptocurrency wallets through the eToro platform. The sponsorship fees will then be paid in Bitcoin directly into the club’s digital wallet.
In exchange, we can now expect to see the eToro logo appearing on water bottles, coffee mugs, shirts, signboards and other paraphernalia during pre and post-match interviews as well as certain highlighted areas around stadium on match day.
Speaking to the press, club representatives said the deal was the first step in fully realising the potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies in the football industry. It was also a step in the right direction in using technology to further the sport, and all its facets.
The average weekly salary for a Premier League Player is around 50,000 pounds or around £2.6 million per a year. In the future, clubs may be looking at paying their players in cryptocurrency or at least part of their salary. In fact, the ball has already started rolling in this department. In July this year, Gibraltar United made news headlines by becoming the first team to pay their players in cryptocurrency. The semi-professional Premier Division side has set a precedent for future teams, opening the doors to a whole new era of salary and advertising payment options.
Blockchain Technology and the Sports Industry
Over the past few years, the sports industry has been looking at Blockchain technology with much interest. Outside of cryptocurrencies, the technology has shown great potential for ticketing sales, security, inter-club transfers and other as well as fantasy sports leagues and digital collectables.
In August, the Union European Football Associations (UEFA) successfully used blockchain technology to track and control ticket sales of the UEFA Super Cup Final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. The system was able to accurately account for each ticket sale, cutting down on illegally replicated tickets and faked identification. This initial testing of the system showed potential for use at future Premier League and World Cup Games.
Fantasy Sports and Cryptocollectables
Blockchain technology is also being used in the sports industry with fantasy sports leagues and cryptocollectables. The US-based Crown League has taken fantasy sports to a whole new level. Their aim is to allow fans to own shares in a team valued in cryptocurrency. The US has also introduced the first sports-themed player tokens, which are essentially cryptocollectables based on the CryptoKitties concept. In a similar way to how traditional baseball cards are created and collected, player tokens use blockchain technology to exist in a digital blockchain world with a registered owner and no possibility of reproduction.
It looks like eToro is ushering in a new way to sponsor sports teams, and in the future we may well see other brands do the same.