Fintech, crypto and sports sponsorship
The last two years have seen an uptick in sports sponsorship deals from fintech, insurtech and crypto startups. $128B was raised by fintech last year, particularly for B2C fintech startups, with much of that tunnelled into marketing, sales, advertising, to acquire customers by any means possible, including by sponsoring sports teams and events.
If we look at Formula 1, eight of the 10 teams have a crypto sponsor. Crypto.com, one of main global crypto exchanges, has been the official sponsor for Formula 1 since June 2021. Due to this, the Miami Grand Prix is now to be officially called the Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix as part of a 9-year deal.
Even The Super Bowl, the biggest sporting and television event in the United States, has been dubbed the “Crypto Bowl” due to a surge in crypto advertisers. Coinbase, FTX, Crypto.com and other crypto startups have flooded the event, taking some of the most expensive ad slots in the business.
In some cases, sport fans make a good fit for the demographic profile of B2C fintech offerings. The UX of many crypto exchanges and neobrokers is even similar to online sport betting and gambling websites.
Fintechs and insurtechs are also getting in the game. Wefox, the world’s 1st insurtech company, became the first ever back-of-shirt sponsor of the football club A.C. Milan, which won the Italian championship this year. Wefox also has a Wefox Arena in Switzerland, home to FC Schaffhausen.
This activity raises the question though of what might happen as some fintech and crypto giants go through a turbulent patch, and what will be the impact on the sporting arena? Sports sponsorships are usually multi-year long agreements, paid regularly over time, and now with the market downturn some of these startup giants (especially in crypto) are already facing the first lawsuits over missing payments and backlash from fans and regulators.
Can they make a second half comeback?
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