Nashville joins Crypto Craze with Valkyrie Partnership – Reuters

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Nashville is the latest Major League Soccer team to join the cryptocurrency wagon, but with one difference: the club’s sponsorship deal with Valkyrie Investments is fully paid for in bitcoin.

On Tuesday, Nashville announced digital asset investment firm Valkyrie as its new co-founder. This comes as sports franchises are increasingly embracing crypto-compatible sponsorships.

Players will wear a Valkyrie crest on their jersey sleeves, and the first club in Nashville’s new stadium will bear the company name. The financial terms of the multi-year partnership were not disclosed, but the deal is the first in MLS to be paid with cryptocurrency.

The sponsorship comes at a crucial time for the club as it prepares to open its new stadium in May. Nashville’s first MLS season came in 2020 amid the pandemic, but the team exceeded expectations on the field with playoff finishes in each of their first two seasons.

About the new sponsorship, Nashville CEO Ian Ayre said, “I think as part of that, we want to be part of the conversation when people talk about new technologies and new ventures.” Said. “Our fan base very clearly matches the general demographic of MLS, so we want to make sure we’re relevant to our fans.”

Probably the most dramatic example of crypto’s growing visibility in sports is Crypto.com’s 20-year $700 million acquisition of the Lakers and Clippers arena naming rights from Los Angeles last November.

At MLS, DC United signed a three-year deal with XDC Network last month that will put the blockchain company’s name on the team’s jerseys for the next three years. Inter Miami has jersey sponsorship with Valkyrie partner cryptofinance firm XBTO.

MLS recommendations for businesses reach a demographic most familiar with digital assets.

“MLS has the youngest fans in American sports, and our fans are also the ones who use or want to use cryptocurrency the most. You know why Nashville SC is looking for Valkyrie,” said Chris Schlosser, MLS senior vice president of media.

Trading can still be risky in an emerging industry. Manchester City’s partnership with 3Key Technologies was shelved amid concerns over the legitimacy of company executives. Barcelona has canceled its deal with Ownix ​​after a businessman affiliated with the company was arrested for cryptocurrency-related fraud.

But for teams seeking new sponsorship, the growing crypto market relevance can be a boon, especially after the pandemic has wreaked havoc across the industry.

Nashville-based Valkyrie felt its brand fit in with football and the home team.

“Very community oriented. You support coin projects and founders, and it’s small and niche, and a lot of people care about each other and help them succeed,” said Leah Wald, CEO of Valkyrie Investments. “And we felt that there was a very good synergy that we felt with the football community and the fans as well. So that fits our philosophy.

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