Cryptocurrency Sponsorships – Balancing Danger vs. Reward
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Opening new classes of sponsorship permit rights holders to
enhance income and advertising and marketing attain – simply ask the NFL,
which took in $1.8 billion price of sponsorship offers this 12 months
whereas welcoming the classes of sports activities betting and liquor.
Definitely, popping out of two pandemic-troubled seasons in a row,
rights holders have to shore up income streams. Nonetheless, shifting
into rising classes can pose danger – not solely that the sponsors
is probably not round lengthy sufficient to completely pay out on the sponsorship
settlement, but additionally reputational danger for the sports activities property if
the sponsor is topic to controversy.
One such rising class is cryptocurrency. Per GlobalData, over 200 sports activities sponsorship offers had been achieved by
crypto firms in 2021 (up 488% from the prior 12 months) with an
annual worth of over $600M, with international soccer being the largest
beneficiary. And whereas some rights holders have begun to
embrace it (for instance, the NBA agreed to a 4-year, $192 million
cope with crypto platform Coinbase; AEG, the proprietor of the world
housing the Lakers, Clippers, and Kings, agreed to a 20-year, $700
million naming rights cope with Crypto.com; and several other Main
League Soccer golf equipment have main shirt sponsorships with crypto
entities), others, such because the NFL, are taking a wait-and-see
stance with respect to sponsorships from cryptocurrency
Maybe that is the correct strategy, because the class has been
topic to controversy. Notably, soccer powerhouses Manchester Metropolis and FC Barcelona terminated offers
with crypto-related firms final Fall shortly after execution
as soon as issues arose concerning the operation of such firms (Man
Metropolis, nevertheless, only recently introduced a brand new partnership with the
crypto change OKX,). Hitting nearer to house, an investor in crypto firm DigitalBits lately
sued the corporate and its founder for fraud and unjust enrichment in
New York state court docket, arguing, amongst different issues, that the
firm was diverting invested cash into costly sports activities
sponsorships somewhat than creating its precise enterprise. Dorrell
v. BurgioNo. 0657130-2021. (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Compl. filed
December 23, 2021)
All the related stakeholders should steadiness danger versus reward
in an rising, untested class akin to cryptocurrency. For
cryptocurrency manufacturers, with the ability to affiliate themselves with
sports activities leagues and groups (and extra importantly, their fan-bases)
could justify the large spend for sports activities sponsorships – however with a view to
not overreach, think about short-term offers with choices to increase.
For a rights holder searching for to extend income, think about
front-loading funds and incorporating sturdy termination rights
in any sponsorship deal – issues that might assist a rights holder
stand up to a reputational and financial hit if an entity in an
rising class akin to cryptocurrency goes bankrupt or in any other case
runs afoul of the regulation. Rights holders must be good about who
they do enterprise with and perceive the regulatory uncertainty
at the moment surrounding cryptocurrency.
After all, as with every rising class, having a longtime
associate within the cryptocurrency house may result in nice issues.
However like with all partnerships, diligence is required.
This alert supplies normal protection of its topic space. We
present it with the understanding that Frankfurt Kurnit Klein &
Selz just isn’t engaged herein in rendering authorized recommendation, and shall not
be answerable for any damages ensuing from any error, inaccuracy, or
omission. Our attorneys follow regulation solely in jurisdictions through which
they’re correctly approved to take action. We don’t search to signify
shoppers in different jurisdictions.
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