Some athletes are interested in getting paid in cryptocurrency. They think it’s a good idea because it’s secure and can be easily tracked. This could help the blockchain sector become more popular.
After suffering severe losses as a result of COVID-19, the sports sector has turned to cryptocurrency to recoup its losses and help fans keep connected with their favorite teams in today’s socially-remote environment.
Over the previous 18 months, numerous partnerships and sponsorships between Web3 projects and sports organizations have been reported, and if things go as planned, this may be just the beginning for these two sectors.
With Bitcoin and other memecoins like Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB) going up in value, projects are starting to understand the importance of a devoted fan base. This has been known by sports organizations for some time.
This year’s Super Bowl saw numerous advertisements for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, including $6.5 million spent by Coinbase and Crypto.com on 30-second commercial spots. According to one sports analytics company, crypto transactions in the sports industry are predicted to surpass $5 billion in revenue by 2026.
For the supporters
Cryptocurrencies are not just regular digital money, but also nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and fan tokens. Athletes and clubs use these tokens to increase fan engagement. Token holders can get exclusive benefits such as voting on the song to be played at the stadium before a match begins.
The blockchain industry is also paying a lot of attention to sports betting. People may wager on the outcomes of sporting events and league ranks paid out in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC). While this may not seem innovative, it has a big influence on cryptocurrency adoption.
Sports betting using cryptocurrency provides a more secure betting environment for sports enthusiasts, allowing bookmakers to benefit from enhanced security. Furthermore, because cryptocurrencies may be utilized virtually everywhere, people from all over the world can participate.
NFTs have been a very successful investment in the sports world. NBA star LeBron James sold a video of himself performing a reverse-windmill dunk for over $100,000 as an NFT. There are many examples of athletes making money from NFTs. In fact, there is an entire marketplace for it.
NBA TopShot is a platform that allows users to own basketball’s greatest moments as NFTs. In less than a year, the platform has earned over $700 million in sales. Additionally, various sports teams have also released their own collections of NFTs, with the San Francisco NBA team Golden State Warriors being the first.
Making your salary your own
The practice of paying athlete salaries in crypto, in whole or part, increased dramatically following the total token market cap surpassing $3 trillion in 2021. The NFL’s Odell Beckham Jr. was among the first players to agree to receive his $750,000 salary in Bitcoin. A key incentive for athletes to accept these contracts could be the increasing inflation rate of the US dollar, which lowers the value of their pay over time.
Saquon Barkley, an athlete who said he would be taking all endorsements in Bitcoin, spoke to Best Business Show host Anthony Pompliano, explaining his decision. “You see inflation, you see how high it is right now and you learn that you can’t save yourself to wealth. That’s why I’m going to be taking my marketing money in Bitcoin.”
Here are some athletes who are getting paid in crypto:
In 2019, Okung requested he is paid in Bitcoin while playing for the Carolina Panthers. He became one of the first major American sportsmen to be compensated using cryptocurrency shortly after that. He processed his $13 million salaries through crypto wallet Zap to convert them into BTC. When Okung converted his salary, Bitcoin was selling for about $27,000.
Trevor Lawrence, a 21-year-old quarterback from Clemson University, has agreed to terms with the Jacksonville Jaguars. As part of the contract, he will be paid in Bitcoin, Ether, and Solana (SOL) through Blockfolio. The contract’s details haven’t been made public, but Lawrence is likely to receive $24 million in bonuses.
Last year in November, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers announced on Twitter that he would be taking part of his salary in bitcoin, partnering with the mobile payments platform Cash App. Rodgers’ contract was paying him an annual income of $33.5 million at the time of the announcement. In addition to stating his beliefs in Bitcoin and that “the future is bright,” Rodgers also stated that he believes in Bitcoin.
The Kansas City Chiefs tight end Sean Culkin is using the Strike cryptocurrency app to convert his $920,000 salary into Bitcoin. He made the following statement: “Considering my career — particularly its physical demands and brevity — it makes the most logical sense to be paid in sound money that I believe protects its purchasing power over time.”
The Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani invested in the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and will serve as a worldwide ambassador for the business, getting all of his compensation in crypto. “The Great Cryptohtani” has been dubbed FTX’s moniker for Ohtani’s contribution to the firm.
Cade Cunningham, a 21-year-old forward for the Toronto Raptors, has signed a multi-year contract with cryptocurrency firm BlockFi in 2021. In exchange, Cunningham will work with BlockFi to develop instructional videos and take part in promotional giveaways and special interviews. Although his yearly salary is $10 million, it’s unclear how much money he’ll make through his collaboration with BlockFi since his contract isn’t public yet.
NBA star Andre Iguodala revealed earlier this year that he’d be taking his salary in Bitcoin. The Golden State Warriors player teamed up with Cash App to convert his pay into cryptocurrency, and he even said he will give away $1 million worth of Bitcoin to his followers.
Three years ago, it would have been impossible for athletes to be paid in cryptocurrency, but the world is now at a stage where blockchain technology’s potential cannot be ignored. Players that receive payment in bitcoin truly believe in the technology and believe that blockchain will eventually integrate into our global financial system.
We should continue to see crypto payment methods develop as Web3 progresses into its ideation phase. Safety, speed, and control come first for most people, and cryptocurrencies provide all three. This may explain why the demand for paid in cryptocurrency is increasing among the wealthy young, especially.