Coinbase Seals Exclusive Sponsorship Deal With NBA & WNBA

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Coinbase announced today that it will be working with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and its sister organization, the Women’s National Basketball Association on a series of tie-ups for professional basketball.

According to the crypto exchange, they will be named as the “exclusive cryptocurrency platform partner” for the two professional sports organizations, as well as for other leagues associated with the NBA, including USA Basketball, NBA G League, and NBA 2K League, its e-sports division.

“As a trusted cryptocurrency platform used by millions, Coinbase is a natural fit as the NBA’s first-ever partner in this thriving category. We look forward to collaborating with Coinbase to provide fans with new ways to engage with the league and each other, while also enhancing the experience for fans who are already Coinbase users.” shared Kerry Tatlock, SVP for Global Marketing Partnerships and Media at NBA.

NBA issued a press release following Coinbase’s announcement, in which it shared how the deal would consist of “unique content, innovations, activations and experiences from Coinbase to educate fans on the increasing advancements happening across the cryptoeconomy.”

“The freedom to participate and benefit from the things you believe in is at the heart of Coinbase’s mission.  Nobody believes this more than NBA and WNBA fans.  We’re proud to become the Leagues’ official cryptocurrency partner. As part of the partnership, we will create interactive experiences to engage with the NBA and WNBA’s incredible community and athletes around the world,” shares Coinbase CMO Kate Rouch.

The multi-year deal will also involve progressing basketball-specific content creation, launched alongside campaigns that aim to educate basketball fans about crypto. The deal follows Coinbase’ rival, FTX, the Sam Bankman-Fried co-founded crypto exchange which has, in previous months, aggressively claimed its brand presence in the professional sports scene, among many other endorsement deals.

FTX currently has multiple partnerships with sports brands and leagues such as a deal with Major League Baseball. FTX also signed a deal with Miami Heat, an NBA team. While this might not necessarily clash with NBA’s deal with Coinbase, crypto fans who also happen to be basketball fans may feel awkward if they see both Coinbase and FTX branding on televised and streamed basketball games featuring matches with the Miami Heat.

On the professional e-sports side of things, Uniswap, an Ethereum-based decentralized exchange (DEX), also sealed a partnership with Team Secret, a professional e-sports organization. The partnership was forged with a $112,000 grant aimed at developing educational content about the DEX and crypto in general. The deal was sealed sometime in June, and Team Secret adequately represented Uniswap to international audiences by securing a third place win at The International 10, the main e-sports event for Dota 2, a popular PC game. Team Secret earned $3,601,600 on the tournament which had a total prize pool of over $40 million. The professional e-sports organization has not disclosed whether it would hold crypto on its balance sheet.

NBA’s partnership with Coinbase is not it’s first foray into the crypto space. Popular NFT series such as NBA TopShot have captured the attention of and sold to audiences across the crypto world and beyond. NBA’s concurrent partnership with Dapper Labs and its operational side, the Flow blockchain, has proven that sports and crypto can integrate well. However, a potential impasse and conflict of interest may arise, given how Coinbase is also set to launch its own NFT platform. It remains to be seen whether NBA and its related organizations would retain their partnerships with Dapper Labs and Coinbase.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


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