FC Barcelona Is Said to Be Talking to Crypto Firms about Shirt Sponsorship
Footballing giants FC Barcelona could be set to sight up with a crypto-related shirt sponsor, per reports from Spain.
The club – one of the biggest and most successful in the world – currently has a deal in place with the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. The firm operates the Rakuten Wallet crypto exchange in Japan, but its global interests are currently limited to non-crypto business areas.
However, the Barcelona-crypto connection could deepen yet further once the Rakuten deal expires in summer next year, per reports from the news agency EFE via Marca and Expansion.
The agency quoted unnamed sources at the club as stating that Barcelona is “proceeding with caution” in the talks - likely aware of recent moves from the Spanish National Securities Market Commission (known locally as the CMNV). The regulator has told all companies that run “advertising campaigns connected to cryptocurrencies” aimed at “more than 100,000 people” to send it details of their campaigns 15 days prior to launch. The CMNV has reserved the right to block campaigns or force advertisers to amend their materials, a factor that could make sponsorship deals with the club difficult for international players.
The CMNV has called crypto “high-risk,” and has insisted on government warnings to be attached to all crypto-related promotions.
But Barcelona’s global appeal is high among many football fans, leading what EFE stated were “several” crypto firms to the negotiating table.
In addition to the Rakuten sponsorship, Barcelona have been linked to crypto-related sponsors in the past. In March, Toni Freixa, a candidate for the club presidency, claimed that he had a deal in place to make a Hong Kong-based crypto exchange named DSDAQ the club’s main shirt sponsor. The candidate said he had a verbal agreement in place for a deal worth some USD 72m a year.
Freixa was defeated in the election by current President Joan Laporta. The latter is currently in Israel – incidentally the home to a number of leading crypto-related firms.
Meanwhile, in Japan, another crypto operator has taken the footballing plunge. Remixpoint, the operator of the license-holding crypto exchange BITpoint, has sealed its own shirt sponsorship deal with the Japanese pro football team Yokohama Marinos.
In a press release (via Minbaku), Remixpoint – whose core business is loyalty points – unveiled the new Marinos shirt, which features its logo, as well as that of co-sponsor Nissan.
The firm stated that it was also hoping to create BITpoint tie-ins with plans “such as issuing fan tokens and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by utilizing the blockchain technology owned by BITPoint.”
The Marinos are majority-owned by Nissan and play in Japan’s top-flight J1 League. They have won the league title on four occasions and won the Asian Cup Winners’ Cup in 1993.
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