After announcing the construction of the first football stadium in the metaverse, English football club Manchester City, reigning Premier League champions, has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange OKX (formerly OKEx) in its first foray into the crypto market.
Manchester City strikes multimillion-dollar deal with OKX
As reported by Forbes, the multi-million deal will run for several years and will establish OKX as the club’s official partner.
The agreement calls for the exchange to cover Manchester City’s men’s and women’s teams, as well as its esports operations.
In addition, OKX’s branding will be displayed inside Manchester City’s two stadiums, the 55,000-seat Etihad Stadium; and the Academy Stadium, with capacity for 7,000 people, in addition to collaboration on future projects.
Financial terms were not disclosed. However, a source told Forbes that the deal with the football team — the sixth most valuable in the world, valued at $4 billion — is in the multi-million range.
Founded in 2017 by cryptocurrency entrepreneur Star Xu, OKX is based in the Republic of Seychelles. According to the company, its operations cover more than 100 countries. In January, the company said that total trades on its platform grew by 700% in 2021.
Cryptocurrencies and sport
While it is the exchange’s first partnership in the sports sector, it is not the first time Manchester City has dabbled in the crypto market.
In 2019, City announced a partnership with South Korean blockchain startup focused on soccer games Superbloke. Additionally, in 2021, the club partnered with blockchain platform Socios.com to launch its Fan Token.
Meanwhile, other exchanges have already entered into extensive partnerships with the sports industry, such as Binance, FTX and Crypto.com.
In 2021, FTX entered into a 19-year, $135 million deal for the naming rights to the Miami Heat arena. This year, the exchange distributed BTC for free during Super Bowl LVI. Still, established a $10 million partnership with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors to launch NFTs.
Crypto.com, meanwhile, invested $700 million to replace the Staples Center name for the next 20 years. The exchange also teamed up with the American professional basketball team Philadelphia 76ers to launch NFTs.
Binance has also entered into several partnerships with sports clubs, including Vasco da Gama and Santos. In addition to clubs, the exchange closed an agreement with sports competitions such as Paulistão 2022 and the Northeast Cup.
The businesses of cryptocurrency companies and sports entities seem to have paid off. A recent report by Nielsen predicts that cryptocurrency spending in sports will reach $5 billion by 2026.