has announced a partnership with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as the official sponsor of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), the biggest African soccer tournament in the world.
"I am delighted to welcome Binance as an official sponsor of the AFCON tournament this year. Through this partnership with CAF, Binance will connect further with its users and the African community through football," said Veron Mosengo-Omba, CAF's General Secretary.
Yi-He, Binance CMO, is equally optimistic about the partnership—and the role of Africa in leading blockchain development in the future.
"With a population of 1.2 billion Africans and the prevalence of blockchain technology and its use cases, we believe the African continent could lead the future of the blockchain industry," Yi-He said.
Emmanuel Babalola, Binance director for Africa, added that "football is the most popular sport in Africa" and that "this corroborates our mission to take crypto mainstream across the continent."
The AFCON tournament—which began on January 9, 2022, sees 24 nations compete for a spot in the final, due to take place on February 6, 2022.
The tournament also features some of the soccer world's biggest names, including Egypt's Mohamed Salah and Senegal's Sadio Mane.
Binance joins sports marketing trend
Binance is not the first crypto exchange to see the promise of sports advertising. Crypto exchanges FTX and have been pouring resources into this field for months.
FTX, led by CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, has gone all-in on sports marketing. In April 2021, the exchange finalized a deal with the Miami Heat that saw the NBA team's home stadium renamed FTX Arena.
In June, the exchange became the official cryptocurrency exchange brand of the MLB, where even umpires now sport the FTX logo on their uniforms.
Last month, FTX.US, the exchange's U.S.-based subsidiary, announced deals with the NBA's Washington Wizards and the NHL's Washington Capitals.
Elsewhere, Coinbase became the exclusive cryptocurrency platform partner of the NBA in October. The publicly-traded crypto exchange also announced a sponsorship deal with NBA star and Brooklyn Net Kevin Durant.