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The NFL Announces Limited Blockchain Sponsorships, Ban on Crypto and Token Deals Remain

The growing surge in popularity of crypto and NFTs have been cited as the League’s reason why.

NFL Crypto Ban
Photo by Alena Veasey / Shutterstock

The NFL has made an official announcement declaring that it’ll allow teams to seek out limited sponsorships from Blockchain companies that span 3 years, though the reversal still holds down a ban on the promotions that feature coins or tokens.

In a memo obtained by the CNBC, the league said “Clubs will continue to be prohibited from directly promoting cryptocurrency.”

The NFL cited the popularity surge of cryptocurrency, NFTs and the NFL’s own evaluation of blockchain technology to be the prime reason they allowed promotional relationships with blockchain companies such as Crypto.com, Coinbase and FTX.

The head of the consumer products for the NFL, Joe Ruggiero told CNBC “We’re extremely bullish on blockchain technology,” and “We think that it has a lot of potential to really shape innovation, shape fan engagement over the course of the coming decade.”

The league has kept tabs on blockchain-related sponsorships for some time, now, even if some people find themselves surprised by the news. Just last year, for instance, the league lobbied the SEC on “issues related to Blockchain technology.”

“In this evolving regulatory environment,” read part of the memo released today, “it remains essential that we proceed carefully when evaluating potential commercial opportunities involving blockchain technologies, and conduct appropriate diligence on all potential partners and their business models.”

Although it seems the NFL is only just now beginning its exploration on blockchain sponsorships, athletes and other league players are seemingly a couple of steps ahead of them, having already jumped in. Kevin Durant, an NBA star and early investor in Coinbase inked a deal with the crypto exchange that would make him the brand’s “face” just last year.

Other notable athletes that have partnered up with or become investors and ambassadors for blockchain companies include the likes of NFL champion quarterback Tom Brady and renowned tennis-star Naomi Osaka.

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