Cryptocurrency/Sports Partnerships You Didn't Know Were a Thing

Cryptocurrency/Sports Partnerships You Didn't Know Were a Thing

Perhaps you already know that Mike Tyson was the first prominent athlete to lend his name to a cryptocurrency project way back in 2015. He became the first sports star ever to put his likeness and name on a line of Bitcoin ATM machines in Las Vegas. You might even already know that Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi is also keenly interested in the blockchain space. He’s promoted projects on his Instagram account in the past.

Tyson and Messi happen to be two of the more famous athletes in the world. Although they are both most certainly doing lots to advance the blockchain industry and Bitcoin, this post is not dedicated to them.

This post is dedicated to all of the partnerships between cryptocurrency projects and sports stars you didn’t know were a thing. Just like the unknown early adopters of Bitcoin who started the grassroots movement that gave birth to an entire new industry, lesser known athletes and sports brands advance it too. They might not deliver knockouts and goals like Tyson and Messi, but these sports stars are contributing in their own unique (and sometimes weird) ways.

Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman is probably the weirdest character to ever play in the NBA. He’s also a Hall of Fame inductee with five championship rings. Two with the Detroit Pistons in the 1980s and three in a row with the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls from 1996-1999. He’s widely regarded as one the best rebounders of all time.

So what are the things that make him so weird? Well, he definitely has the unofficial NBA record for the number of funkiest hair colors sported throughout an NBA career. He also once famously wore a wedding dress in public.

It almost makes sense that he’d leave basketball and go on to become friends with the President of North Korea, Kim Jung-un. Yes it’s true! Chances are you aren’t counting on Rodman to negotiate a peace deal with a dictator, but you’re probably not surprised to know that this quirky character wore a t-shirt promoting the weed-friendly cryptocurrency Potcoin on CNN while talking about his relationship with the North Korean President in an interview.

James Rodriguez

He may not be a big star in North America, but overseas he’s the man simply known as James. We’re talking about the Columbian midfielder who regularly leads his country in international competitions and also scores goals for the star-studded Bayern Munich football club. He announced last year that he’s releasing his own cryptocurrency called the JR10. James says the project is an opportunity to get into a new field and show the world a brand new version of himself.

The first pre-sale of the JR 10 sold out in just 12 seconds. The project’s launch went so well that retired Brazilian and fellow footballer Ronaldinho decided to find a partner and launch something called the Soccer Coin Project, which is supposed to include building a soccer academy. The project will exist on the blockchain.

Nikolaj Rosenthal

Who? Okay, so chances are no one knows who Rosenthal is. Kind of ironic considering who’s on this list to start. So why is he on here? Rosenthal plays professional hockey in Denmark. He’s a winger in his late 20s who made news a year ago when he announced that he wanted his entire hockey contract converted into Bitcoin. Rosenthal says he’s always been technically minded and he understands that having a proper financial backup plan was crucial to making the decision to go full on crypto with his salary. He says he doesn’t have to worry if the price crashes. That’s a good thing, because Bitcoin’s been slumping lately.

The Harunustaspor Transfer Fee

Harunustaspor is an amateur soccer club that competes in the little known Sakarya First Division Group B league. The team acquired a player named Omar Faruk Kiroglu from another club, and paid for his services in Bitcoin. They spent 0.0524 Bitcoin to make the deal happen. At today’s Bitcoin price, that’s roughly a cost of $375 USD. Not a major transaction by any means, but a sign of adoption progressing nevertheless. Kiroglu and team president Holdun Sehit were glad to show off a Bitcoin wallet on Twitter while the signed the deal that made the acquisition official.

Other Deals Involving Crypto and Sports

Believe it or not, the NBA’s Sacramento Kings were way ahead of the sports/cryptocurrency adoption curve in 2014. The team allowed fans to pay for tickets and team merchandise with Bitcoin. It was more of a promotion than on ongoing statement of adoption, but still impressive nonetheless. Last year, the team became the first pro sports franchise to begin mining cryptocurrency.

With a young, upstart NBA team supporting the movement, it only makes sense that other niche sports like auto racing and brands like Red Bull would also get involved. The team is involved with a project called FuturoCoin.

The Future of Sports and Crypto

The above list is far from a complete one. It’s growing every day. As crypto adoption rises, more and more sports properties are going to come to an important realization. The young male-dominated world of sports is filled with the same people driving the adoption of everything Bitcoin and blockchain. It’s only a matter of time before the collision course between the two sees all major teams and athletes associated with the world’s top crypto projects. Until that happens, these lists will continue to get longer.