OKX, a spot and derivatives cryptocurrency exchange, is the latest in the industry to leap into the sports world. The company recently signed a sponsorship deal with the Premiere League Champions at Manchester City, with the agreement spanning their men’s, women’s, and esports teams
The organizations will collaborate to deliver numerous “experiences” to OKX’s customer base, according to a press release today. The exchange is the second largest in the world by daily trading volume, only behind Binance, per data from CoinGecko.
The company’s deal with Manchester City also means that OKX will feature a “presence” at Etihad Stadium and Academy Stadium, the former being the 10th largest football stadium in the UK.
OKX is far from the first crypto exchange to capitalize on sports advertising. Crypto.com and FTX each spent big money recently to buy the naming rights to major sports arenas, while Coinbase’s logo and branding is plastered everywhere from the NHL to the NBA.
In fact, all three of these exchanges competed in a Super Bowl advertising bout last month. The ads appear to have been successful, at least for Coinbase—the company reported that its website crashed from an overflow of traffic shortly after its commercial aired.
Part of the focus on sports may be due to demographics. According to a CNBC survey from August, young males are more likely than others to invest in crypto—and also more likely to be avid sports fans.
Athletes themselves are also increasingly investing in crypto. The NFL’s Odell Beckham Jr. took his entire salary in Bitcoin last year, while Aaron Rodgers announced in November that he’d be taking a portion of his own salary in BTC. Tom Brady, meanwhile, is heavily involved in the crypto industry, both with his own startup, Autograph, and an equity stake in FTX.
FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried claims that his company’s sports push is “clearly working.” Last month, he told Decrypt that it’s “penetrated more than everything else” that FTX has done in terms of marketing, and that it's “top of mind” for anyone that's now familiar with the brand.