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Why are there so many crypto ads on sports broadcasts?

A new analysis from Bloomberg investigates the avalanche of cryptocurrency money flowing into sports leagues

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Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain drives his car around the Miami Grand Prix circuit on May 6, 2022.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain drives his car around the circuit — and under many cryptocurrency ads — during the first practice session for the Formula One Miami Grand Prix auto race at the Miami International Autodrome, Friday, May 6, 2022.

Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press

If you’re an avid sports fan, you’ve probably noticed a new type of advertisement popping up on courtside screens and athletes’ social media accounts in recent months. A recent Bloomberg analysis shows that cryptocurrency companies are flooding the sports world with sponsorship funds.

“Cryptocurrency companies have committed more than $2.4 billion to sports marketing in the past 18 months,” Bloomberg reported.

The article noted that a wide variety of leagues, teams and individual players have benefitted from the sponsorship bonanza. The Dallas Cowboys, Golden State Warriors and New York Yankees all have cryptocurrency deals, as do Kevin Durant and Cristiano Ronaldo. Crypto.com was a leading sponsor of this year’s Formula One Grand Prix in Miami.

“Even the Drone Racing League is getting crypto money,” Bloomberg reported.

These sponsorships and advertisements seek to get more people involved in cryptocurrency markets, which, as it stands, draw in a small share of U.S. adults. A September 2021 Pew Research Center survey showed that although nearly 9 in 10 Americans had heard of cryptocurrencies, just 16% had “invested in, traded or used” one themselves.

“Men ages 18 to 29 are particularly likely to say they have used cryptocurrencies,” Pew found.

The recent downturn in the crypto market likely won’t help shift these figures. During the spring and early summer, cryptocurrency companies lost around $2 trillion in value amid market shifts, Bloomberg reported.

In the absence of a major rebound, it’s unclear what the future of crypto advertising will look like, the article noted.

“This year’s severe slump in the crypto market will test these companies’ willingness and ability to continue throwing money at leagues, teams and athletes. But for now the deals keep coming, leading franchise owners and executives to view crypto as sports’ next great benefactor,” Bloomberg said.