English soccer team Manchester City is taking another shot at a crypto partnership, six months after severing ties with a previous sponsor.
The club announced on Monday that cryptocurrency platform OKX will be its official training kit partner for the upcoming season, with the company featuring on both the men's and women's first team's training kits.
"[Manchester City] is an inspiring partner. It transformed the business of football, challenging the status quo by building on the club’s heritage with a modern approach. We share a similar philosophy. As MCFC are disruptors in the world of football, we are a disruptor in the world of finance," said Haider Rafique, global chief marketing officer at OKX, told Decrypt via email.
The announcement accompanies a series of artworks featuring various Manchester City players, including new signing Erling Haaland, from street artist Akse P19 and Global Street Art Agency.
OKX first signed a sponsorship deal with Man City back in March, not long after the club cut off relations with previous partner 3Key Technologies.
The tie-up with the mysterious 3Key was ended after questions were reportedly raised regarding the company's ownership.
But the experience doesn't seem to have put Man City off the crypto space, with the club's chief operating officer Roel de Vries announcing that "OKX and Man City are aligned on values such as innovation and success and for both parties, everything starts with training and education."
The announcement further deepens the relationship between Man City and OKX, which was last week announced as presenting partner for the team's Trophy Tour 2022. "
"We announced last week that Manchester City and OKX will take the Premier League trophy to the doorsteps of fans in markets including France, Spain, the UAE, Korea, and, for the first time ever, Mexico, Norway and South Africa," Rafique told Decrypt. "The Trophy Tour will also be taking place on Roblox, giving fans and gamers the chance to interact in a virtual world with the trophy, collecting unique items and meeting other fans."
Crypto gaining traction in the world of soccer
Soccer teams have been leaning into crypto partnerships and projects in recent years, with even the English Premier League filing two crypto and trademarks in the U.S. last month.
Man City first dabbled in the space in March last year, when it launched a $CITY token for fans.
Individual stars of the sport are also getting involved, with Christiano Ronaldo last month signing a multi-year marketing deal with crypto firm Binance that will see several Ronaldo NFTs created.
Rafique today also drew a comparison between sports and crypto trading.
"Anything we set out to do in life requires knowledge, training and practice," he said. "Trading and investing is no exception. Developing discipline, mental conditioning and training every day can help investors and traders block the noise and stick to fundamentals. Our logo on the Manchester City Football Club training kit is a symbol of that intention."