Crypto advertising has been plastered across every available sporting surface since the bull run of 2021, from stadium naming deals and team’s playing kits to Formula One racing car liveries. But in the current bearish market conditions, it seems hard to calculate a return on the ubiquitous spending of 2021’s crazy big advertising.
In Australia, where I’m based, there was a sharp uptick in crypto firms spending big on ads and sponsorship deals in the Australian Football League in 2021–2022. While it may make sense for a local crypto exchange, why would a global project spend big dollars on a sport that isn’t even the major football code in every state, given some of the bigger states prefer the National Rugby League?
Take, for example, the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, home of the National Basketball Association’s Lakers and Clippers, the National Hockey League’s Kings and the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Sparks. It got a new name on Christmas Day 2021 — Crypto.com Arena — for a reported $700-million dollar deal.
Are crypto projects wasting money on big sports deals?
While financial terms of the 20-year deal weren’t publicly announced, it is believed to be the most expensive naming rights deal in sports history. Time will tell if it was money well spent. As the home court where the late Kobe Bryant played basketball, many today will still call it the Staples Center indefinitely, but a younger generation likely will not.
Crypto.com wasn’t the only brand spending up big on sports deals.
VeChain paid $100 million to plaster its logo throughout the Ultimate Fighting Championship arenas. Will getting the barely recognizable logo in front of kickboxing fans on TV lead to any new customers for its supply chain tracking solutions or onboard new users into the crypto ecosystem?
You can’t miss the prominent VeChain branding at the UFC. Source: Twitter
Is this all just wasted expenditure born of a bull market or a clever long-term commitment to advertising crypto adoption?
It depends on who you ask. There…