For the first time In time, a crypto exchange is partnering with an NFL team in a long-term, exclusive relationship that could bring further exposure of digital assets to the mainstream public.
The partnership between Blockchain.com and the Dallas Cowboys was announced Wednesday at the NFL team’s headquarters in Frisco, Texas, by Jerry Jones, the football team’s owner, president and general manager, in addition to Peter Smith, the co-founder and CEO of Blockchain.com. † According to Brooks Wallace, head of communications at Blockchain.com, NFL rules prevented the price or length of the deal from being disclosed.
This is the first national professional sports deal for the crypto company, which has been around since 2011, and will include branding, advertising, content and event opportunities. However, it does not include naming rights for Cowboys Stadium, which remains AT&T Stadium.
The stadium will seat 80,000 people and will add a QR code to each seat that will link to the Cowboys website and mark Blockchain.com’s wallet so fans can learn more about crypto, Wallace said.
“The Cowboys have built one of the most valuable and cherished brands in America, and one of the reasons we wanted to partner with them is to work together to build our brand,” Smith told Marketingwithanoy. “We’re primarily technology people, not brand people, so learning from the best is something we’re really excited about.”
Millions of Cowboys fans are going to learn about crypto this football season, Smith said. “The Thanksgiving Day game is the most watched TV game and we’ll be there this Thanksgiving Day game.”
Additionally, the partnership offers Cowboys fans the opportunity to engage both IRL and online through social media promotions on Blockchain.com’s wallet. The offer ranges from VIP trips at away games to player-organized events. The partnership also aims to educate fans about digital assets and will host an educational summit where people can learn more.
“They are bringing Wall Street to Main Street by making digital assets available to anyone, anywhere in the world — and that’s a milestone for our millions of fans around the world,” Jones said in a statement.
This partnership comes a few weeks after the NFL announced on March 22 that it would no longer prohibit teams from sponsoring any blockchain-based exchanges or wallet companies. However, individual clubs are restricted from signing NFT licensing agreements and can only release the digital collectibles “as permitted in connection with League-level NFT partnerships.”
“The League has identified certain blockchain-related companies that we believe could be involved in league and club promotion relationships without taking undue regulatory or brand risks,” three league leaders wrote in the memo last month, “provided the companies in question and the specific products being promoted are well vetted.”
Regardless of the NFL’s rules, professional players — like Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s quarterback Tom Brady, who partnered with crypto exchange FTX — still do crypto deals off the field.
“I think you need some NFL [and crypto] follow deals,” said Smith. “This will be the first of many NFL deals.”
Blockchain.com plans to work closely with the Cowboys and NFL to expand the use of crypto in the stadium experience and online fan experience over time, Smith noted. “We’re starting small and expanding it over the next few years.”
Crypto in sports
Partnerships and deals with sports teams are not a new concept, but crypto-related ones have increased over the past year.
Outside of the NFL, there has been a major influx of crypto firms joining forces with professional sports teams and players from the US in the past 12 months.