76ers Announce Crypto.com Sponsor Patch With NFT Tie-In
After being the first NBA team to add sponsor patches to their jerseys, the Philadelphia 76ers are now the second team to partner with a cryptocurrency and NFT company for their on-jersey sponsorships. The partnership also has an exclusive NFT component.
The Sixers had previously worn StubHub patches, but just announced today that Crypto.com will take over that real estate beginning on the team’s first preseason matchup on Oct. 4.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) September 22, 2021
In addition to the jersey patch, the team is launching an NFT on the Crypto.com NFT platform.
"Crypto.com will be woven into the fabric of our identity, and together, we will change the landscape for how crypto is integrated in sports,” 76ers president of business operations Chris Heck said, according to NBC Sports. “We will also leverage Crypto.com’s forward-thinking, global expertise to unveil our first-ever NFT program. These are the types of creative, innovative partnerships that we crave, and we’re thrilled to share this with our fans in Philadelphia and around the world for years to come."
This won’t be a one-off thing, either. Each year, NBA teams have a special “City Edition” jersey, which reflects some aspect of the team’s history or its location. Philly Voice reported that when the Sixers debut their 2021-22 City Edition jersey, there will also be an NFT tie-in, meaning this partnership with Crypto.com goes just beyond wearing their logo and dropping a single NFT.
A cryptocurrency/NFT company placing a logo on sports jerseys shows that even when an entire company’s business model is built around something that can literally never be tangible, there will always be a place for logo placement in the real world.
It also shows what we’ve seen developing for a while: that there’s a place for NFTs in the promotional products space. Some companies have done it well, and others have whiffed, but it’s such new territory that there's room for experimentation to find what works best.