Crypto is all set to take over the Super Bowl this year. The Cincinnati Bengals will face off against the Los Angeles Rams in L.A. on February 13th. The broadcast of this legendary showdown is expected to be full of crypto features, more so than ever before.
The $32 Billion crypto derivatives exchange, FTX has been on a spending spree when it comes to marketing of this nature in the past year, and it even managed to score a Super Bowl ad just last October. As for Crypto.com, just a mere days before Christmas, it followed in FTX’s footsteps. This year’s game (The Super Bowl LVI) has an ad cost of $6.5 million for only 30 seconds worth of airtime–but that shouldn’t be a concern for these exchanges as they’re flowing with revenue from the trading fees since Crypto’s surge during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s worth noting though, that the Super Bowl crypto ads are just part of the bigger picture, a larger trend, so to speak. Crypto exchanges such as FTX, Crypto.com, Coinbase, and even Binance are literally pouring money by the millions into the sports market in an attempt to reach new customers, as they aim to expand their name recognition.
When it comes to the big push crypto is making in the sports industry, it’s pretty evident they see some real profit to be made in here, and a lucrative means for them to enhance brand recognition, too.
“We are really coming from behind on name recognition. When someone’s looking to get involved in crypto for the first time, we’ve found that they haven’t heard of FTX,” said the CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried in conversation with Decrypt at a live event held last November.
As for Crypto.com CEO, Kris Marszalek, he spoke with the WSJ about the situation, saying “Going into different sports just allows me to reach everybody where they are. Super Bowl is just one more step into that, where it’s as mass as you get.” Though, the thought of whether Crypto.com will decide to replay their quite controversial Matt Damon crypto ad is rather intriguing. At the moment, it remains to be seen if they will, or not.
Though both FTX and Crypto.com may have made strides in securing themselves expensive ad slots for the Super Bowl, it’s definitely not the first time both companies have placed their names on events, sports arenas or even sports jerseys for that matter.
Back in November of 2021, Crypto.com reportedly paid $700 million for the naming rights of the Los Angeles Lakers’ home stadium, the Staples Center. Now, the Lakers play at the Crypto.com arena. Not only that, but the crypto exchange also managed to become a sponsor to what can only be described as the most prestigious soccer cup tournament final, titled the Coppa Italia.
Of course, FTX is no slouch either and has been keeping pretty busy. In April, FTX managed to ink a 19-year deal with the NBA’s Miami Heat. This was a deal that saw the crypto derivatives exchange become the Heat’s “official and exclusive” crypto partner. Additionally, the American Airlines Arena, which used to be the name of the Heat’s home stadium, has come to be known now as the FTX Arena.
The partnership with Miami Heat is without a doubt Sam Bankman-Fried’s marquee sports deal, but even besides that, the FTX CEO has been keeping busy landing a myriad of high-profile deals, as well. For instance, FTX.US recently made a deal with the Golden State Warriors, the Washington Wizards, and the NHL’s Washington Capitals. Even the Umpires in the Major League Baseball were proudly sporting the SBF-led exchange’s logo on their uniforms. The CEO is confident it’s working, too.
“Everyone we talk to who knows us a little bit, or a lot, or barely, or intimately, this is top of mind for them,” he remarked on Decrypt’s podcast’s 1st episode. “Clearly this has penetrated more than everything else we’ve done combined, in terms of people’s perception of us. Not in terms of installs per dollar spent, though.”
Though Coinbase hasn’t announced a Super Bowl ad yet, it’s hot on the heels of the FTX in regards to sports spending. Back in October, the exchange managed to become the NBA and WNBA’s official cryptocurrency partner, being the one to crowd the basketball and crypto room even further.
To add to that, last month Coinbase inked down a deal with the NBA’s very own Kevin Durant, who, himself is an early Coinbase investor.
Now, Crypto exchanges aren’t the only ones with a vested interest in infiltrating football. NFTs, the new hottest blockchain-based digital collectibles on the scene have also successfully pushed their way on the scene. Major consumer brands are participating in the NFT craze, and capitalizing on it.
Bud Light just began using a Nouns NFT just last week as its Twitter profile picture, which is seemingly a part of the Nouns DAO vote, which could stand to include Nouns imagery being shown at the Super Bowl.
And how can we forget about the Bored Ape Yacht Club? This year’s halftime show, which is sponsored by Pepsi, will feature a whos who of the most famous rappers ever, including Eminem and Snoop Dogg. Both rappers own Bored Ape NFTs.
DAO’s definitely want in on the fun, too.
A group of crypto enthusiasts operating under the collective SuperDAO had the goal of raising $20 million through the sale of the NFTs that would finance the Super Bowl in turn. Of course, the DAO, unfortunately, failed to reach the funding goal they’d set up, and has been told that all of the slots for the Super Bowl have sadly, been filled at the moment.
SuperDAO’s NFT push was, however, coordinated by a separate entity titled BPNFT, which Steven Echtman, its founder, described as “sort of like the company that’s manufacturing the collectibles.” Having set up shop in Delaware, BPNFT serves as essentially an art studio in the business of creating and selling collectibles.
Echtman said “Ultimately, the vision is… how do we use this as a vehicle to build awareness of NFTs and build awareness for these artists, and help them to support themselves and each other?”
SuperDAO is now setting it’s sights on an ad for the Super Bowl in 2023, but before it achieves that, it aims to send a SuperDAO artist to this year’s Super Bowl. A token fundraiser via the SuperDAO community seeks to be used to send “at least one” of the DAO’s artists to this year’s big came, per Echtman.
Also, should Bud Light end up giving a nod to Nouns NFTS which are based on the Nouns DAO proposal, well, that would also be seen as a huge win for DAOs.