Most Valuable Crypto-Backed Sports Teams in the World in 2024

The world has seen an increasing number of crypto sponsorships of sports teams since the crypto bull run of 2021. Companies like Crypto.com and now-defunct FTX spent millions of dollars to rename sports arenas and sponsor NBA teams.

The rationale is straightforward for crypto companies with big marketing war chest – reach out to as many people as possible to increase brand awareness.

Luckily for them, there are very few things in this world that bring more people together like sports.

In this article, we list the most valuable sports teams with crypto sponsorships.

Key Takeaways

  • Crypto companies look to sports brands to maximize brand awareness and establish brand credibility.
  • Crypto.com’s naming rights deal to rename the Staples Center to Crypto.com Arena is the biggest crypto sponsorship deal to date.
  • FTX’s bankruptcy saw the failure of numerous crypto sponsorship deals in 2022.
  • FC Barcelona’s deal with Chiliz was a significant crypto sponsorship deal that saw Chiliz acquire a stake in Barca Studios.
  • PSG, Manchester United FC, and New England Patriots made it to Techopedia’s list of most expensive crypto-backed sports teams.

Which Sports Are Attracting Most Crypto Partnerships and Sponsors?

When it comes to crypto sports sponsorship, companies are looking for the most efficient places to spend their marketing budgets. Therefore, crypto companies have shown a preference for partnering with the biggest sports brands that can maximize brand awareness, attract young audiences, and establish brand credibility.

Football is arguably the most popular sport in the world. Crypto companies recognize this.

Advertisements

In 2022, crypto exchange Crypto.com paid an undisclosed amount to become an official sponsor of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Meanwhile, rival Binance tapped superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to launch an NFT collection.


Crypto.com’s CMO Steven Kalifowitz said:

“No sport brings the world together like football, and no sporting event brings the world together the way FIFA World Cup does.” 

In the US, basketball trumps soccer. Crypto companies made headlines in the 2021 bull run by spending hundreds of millions to rename sporting stadiums.

The biggest deal of the lot was a 20-year, $700 million deal signed by Crypto.com to rename the iconic Staples Center – home of NBA teams LA Lakers and LA Clippers, as well as ice hockey team LA Kings – to Crypto.com Arena.


The now-defunct FTX Exchange penned a similar naming-rights deal with NBA’s Miami Heat to rename their stadium Kaseya Center to FTX Arena in a $135 million deal. However, the deal fell through after FTX filed for bankruptcy in 2022.

Another sport that has seen plenty of crypto sponsorships is racing, more specifically, Formula One (F1). Numerous F1 teams have crypto sponsors. The BWT Alpine F1 team took it a step further by launching its own crypto fan token called $ALPINE in collaboration with Binance.

The Most Expensive Crypto-Backed Sports Teams

In this section, we list the most valuable sports teams in the world that are backed by crypto companies and crypto sponsorships.

# Team Crypto Platform Forbes Valuation (2023)
1 Dallas Cowboys Blockchain.com $9 billion
2 New England Patriots Chain $7 billion
3 Manchester United FC Tezos $6 billion
4 FC Barcelona Chiliz $5.508 billion
5 Liverpool FC Sorare $5.288 billion
6 Manchester City FC OKX $4.99 billion
7 FC Bayern Munich Bitpanda $4.86 billion
8 Atlanta Falcons Socios.com $4.7 billion
9 Baltimore Ravens Socios.com $4.63 billion
10 Paris Saint-Germain Crypto.com $4.21 billion

10. Paris Saint-Germain and Crypto.com

French football club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) signed a deal with Crypto.com in September 2021 to make the crypto exchange the club’s official cryptocurrency platform partner.

According to PSG, a significant portion of the undisclosed sponsorship fees was paid using Crypto.com’s platform crypto token called CRO. The deal also included agreements to release exclusive club NFTs on Crypto.com’s NFT platform.

PSG ranked 36th in Forbes’ list of the most valuable sports teams in 2023, valued at $4.21 billion.

9. Baltimore Ravens and Socios.com

NFL team Baltimore Ravens signed a marketing deal with fan token platform Socios.com in April 2022.

The deal allowed Socios to reward fans with training camp and game day hospitality passes. Socios also gained in-stadium signage, title sponsorship of fan polls and the right to conduct fan giveaways for game tickets.

Baltimore Ravens ranked 28th in Forbes’ list of the most valuable sports teams in 2023, valued at $4.63 billion.

8. Atlanta Falcons and Socios.com

NFL team Atlanta Falcons signed a marketing deal with fan token platform Socios.com in April 2022.

The deal allowed Socios to reward Falcon fans with game tickets and autographed team merchandise via social media giveaways. Socios also received branding on the official team mobile app.

FC Bayern Munich ranked 26th in Forbes’ list of the most valuable sports teams in 2023, valued at $4.7 billion.

7. FC Bayern Munich and BitPanda

In January 2024, defending Bundesliga champions FC Bayern Munich signed a multi-year deal with Austrian crypto exchange Bitpanda.

According to Bitpanda, the deal will make Bitpanda the official crypto partner of the German club. The deal also includes TV exposure, player activation, and stadium visibility.

FC Bayern Munich ranked 24th in Forbes’ list of the most valuable sports teams in 2023, valued at $4.86 billion.

6. Manchester City FC and OKX

On June 30, 2023, cryptocurrency exchange OKX signed a three-year deal to become the official sleeve sponsor of the defending English Premier League (EPL) champions Manchester City FC.

The deal, reported worth £55 million, saw the OKX brand featured on both the men’s and women’s first team playing kits. Prior to the sleeve sponsorship deal, Manchester City FC had signed OKX to be its official training kit partner in July 2022.

Manchester City FC ranked 23rd in Forbes’ list of the most valuable sports teams in 2023, valued at $4.99 billion.

5. Liverpool FC and Sorare

In September 2022, the EPL team Liverpool FC expanded its partnership with NFT-based fantasy sports platform Sorare for an undisclosed fee.

The deal allowed Sorare to continue to make digital card collectibles of Liverpool players available to fans, collectors and gamers to collect, trade, and compete in the Sorare fantasy game.

Liverpool FC ranked 20th in Forbes’ list of the most valuable sports teams in 2023, valued at $5.288 billion.

4. FC Barcelona and Chiliz

On August 2, 2022, sports-focused blockchain provider Chiliz announced that it paid $100 million to acquire a 24.5% stake in FC Barcelona’s digital content creation and distribution unit called Barca Studios.

The deal came at a time when FC Barcelona was looking to raise capital to register new players. For Chiliz, the deal allowed them to reach the club’s global fan base through NFTs, metaverse projects, and merchandising.

Forbes listed FC Barcelona as the 18th most valuable sports team in the world in 2023, valued at $5.508 billion.

3. Manchester United FC and Tezos

In February 2022, the British football club Manchester United signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with the blockchain platform Tezos, reportedly worth over £20 million per year.

The deal saw the Tezos brand appear on the team’s training kits. According to the club, the partnership will create new blockchain-based fan experiences and include a pledge to support the Manchester United Foundation with donations in the native crypto of the Tezos blockchain called TEZ.

Manchester United FC ranked 13th in Forbes’ list of the most valuable sports teams in 2023, valued at $6 billion.

2. New England Patriots and Chain

In September 2022, web3 software company Chain, in collaboration with Kraft Sports + Entertainment, announced a multi-year sponsorship agreement with NFL team New England Patriots to become their official blockchain and web3 sponsor.

The deal was signed by the soccer team New England Revolution as well, who share the Gillette Stadium with New England Patriots.

According to Forbes, New England Patriots was the third-most valuable sports team of 2023, valued at $7 billion.

1. Dallas Cowboys and Blockchain.com

In April 2022, American football team Dallas Cowboys became the first National Football League (NFL) team to pen a sponsorship deal with a crypto company.

Crypto exchange Blockchain.com signed a deal for an undisclosed amount with the Dallas Cowboys for branding, advertising, content and event opportunities and stadium signage. The deal also allowed fans to get access to Dallas Cowboys content on their Blockchain.com crypto wallets.

According to Forbes, Dallas Cowboys was the most valuable sports team of 2023, valued at $9 billion.

The Bottom Line

The crypto winter of 2022 was a difficult time for crypto sponsorships. Many sports teams saw the loss of sponsorship revenue due to the bankruptcy of the FTX exchange. FTX, which was one of the biggest crypto companies in the world before its collapse, spent big to sign deals with the likes of Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 and Golden State Warriors.

The industry has recovered, and crypto companies that sponsor sports teams are growing again. Within the first two months of 2024, we have already seen FC Bayern sign a deal with Bitpanda and London-based football club Chelsea FC sign with crypto exchange BingX.

FAQs

Why is sports and crypto getting together a win-win?

What sports teams use crypto?

What NBA team is sponsored by Crypto?

What football team does Binance sponsor?

References

  1. Crypto.com unveiled as FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Official Sponsor (Crypto)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo Launches First NFT Collection with Binance USA – English USA – English (Prnewswire)
  3. Crypto.com Nabs FIFA World Cup Sponsorship for Undisclosed Sum (Coindesk)
  4. AEG AND CRYPTO.COM (Cryptoarena)
  5. Crypto.com buys naming rights to Lakers’ Staples Center in a $700 million deal (Cnbc)
  6. Miami Heat home arena gets temporary name after FTX collapse (Nba)
  7. CRYPTO.COM becomes PSG Official Cryptocurrency platform (En.psg)
  8. The World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams 2023 (Forbes)
  9. Ravens, Socios Honor Local Firehouses To Kick Off New Partnership (Baltimoreravens)
  10. SOCIOS.COM AND ATLANTA FALCONS ANNOUNCE NEW MULTI-PLATFORM MARKETING PARTNERSHIP (Medium)
  11. Bitpanda is the official crypto partner of FC Bayern Munich (Bitpanda)
  12. OKX Named Official Sleeve Partner Of Manchester City In Expansion Of Partnership (Okx)
  13. Manchester City upgrade OKX deal with ‘UK£55m’ sleeve partnership (Sportspromedia)
  14. OKX becomes Training Kit Partner of Manchester City (Mancity)
  15. AnnouncementLiverpool FC expands current partnership with Sorare (Liverpoolfc)
  16. FC Barcelona To Accelerate Web3 Strategy As Socios.com Invests $100m In Barca Studios (Medium)
  17. Manchester United confirm £20m sponsorship deal with blockchain company Tezos (Theathletic)
  18. Tezos (Manutd)
  19. Official website of the New England Patriots (Patriots)
  20. Cowboys Land Historic Cryptocurrency Partnership (Dallascowboys)
  21. FTX Spent Hundreds of Millions of Dollars on Sports Marketing on Road to Bankruptcy (Decrypt)
  22. BingX Inks Deal With Chelsea as Official Crypto Exchange Partner (Blog.bingx)
Advertisements

Related Reading

Related Terms

Advertisements
Mensholong Lepcha
Crypto & Blockchain Writer

Mensholong is an experienced crypto and blockchain journalist, now a full-time writer at Techopedia. He has previously contributed news coverage and in-depth market analysis to Capital.com, StockTwits, XBO, and other publications. He started his writing career at Reuters in 2017, covering global equity markets. In his free time, Mensholong loves watching football, finding new music, and buying BTC and ETH for his crypto portfolio.