The NFL also adopted a "go slow" attitude with gambling and alcohol brands.
NFL teams are being stopped from entering into sponsorship deals with crypto trading platforms — and cannot create their own collections of non-fungible tokens for fans, according to a new report.
The sporting world has been drawn to cryptocurrencies for several reasons. Not only are fan engagement tokens unlocking new revenue streams for teams, but NFTs are paving the way for digitized versions of trading cards.
The report suggests that the NFL’s caution reflects weariness about new commercial partnerships — and notes that a similar “go slow” attitude was adopted with gambling and alcohol brands.
A team official told The Athletic that the new guidelines state:
“Clubs are prohibited from selling, or otherwise allowing within club controlled media, advertisements for specific cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, other cryptocurrency sales or any other media category as it relates to blockchain, digital asset or as blockchain company, except as outlined in this policy.”
All of this means that the NFL is likely to be a slow mover in this fast-moving space.
The NBA has already embraced NFTs through the launch of Top Shot, which enables fans to collect “moments” from iconic basketball games.
Meanwhile, a dizzying range of top-flight football teams have also launched fan tokens — including the likes of Arsenal, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.
Lionel Messi’s recent move from Barcelona to PSG, which was linked to financial woes at his long-time club, saw him sign a deal that includes a substantial amount of the club’s fan tokens.
A number of other sports stars have also wasted little time in expressing their enthusiasm for crypto — with some opting to convert half of their salaries into Bitcoin.