Cryptocurrency

Portland Trail Blazers Lands NBA's First Cryptocurrency Jersey Patch Deal

Source: Portland Trail Blazers
  • Cryptocurrency platform StormX will have a brand presence on the Portland Trail Blazers' game and practice jerseys and in-arena signage.
  • It's the National Basketball Association's first cryptocurrency jersey sponsorship.
  • The crypto space has been active with sports sponsorships this year. On Tuesday, Formula 1 agreed to a deal with Crypto.com, and FTX took over the arena name for the Miami Heat in March.

The National Basketball Association has landed its first cryptocurrency jersey sponsorship after the Portland Trail Blazers agreed to terms with crypto platform StormX, the team announced on Thursday.

In the pact, StormX will have a brand presence on the Blazers' game and practice jerseys and on in-arena signage and will leverage the team's intellectual property internationally. StormX will also create the team's first NFT, which will be available this month.

Sports agency Wasserman Media Group assisted in negotiations for the StormX agreement. Terms of the deal were not made available. However, sponsorship experts suggest the multiyear deal isn't more than $10 million per year. The Golden State Warriors earns roughly $20 million per season for its jersey patch, the most expensive in the NBA.

StormX allows users to earn cryptocurrency when they shop with top brands, like a cash-back or reward-based business model. The company makes revenue from transaction fees. The announcement of the deal notes StormX has 800 global partners and more than 2 million users. The company also has a mobile app for Apple and Android devices.

Aligning with StormX also provides an exclusive blockchain component that positions the Blazers for the future of ticketing and collecting fan data. Blockchains and items attached to the technology offer a unique and non-hackable certificate of authenticity.

In a statement, Blazers CEO Chris McGowan labeled StormX "revolutionary," adding the deal allows the Blazers fanbase more education "around cryptocurrency and earning Crypto Cashback."

The cryptocurrency space has been active with sports sponsorships this year. On Tuesday, Formula 1 agreed to a $100 million deal with Crypto.com, and FTX took over the arena name for the Miami Heat in March. That deal is for 19 years and is valued at $135 million.

Whether StormX will get its money's worth in this sports partnership is the question.

The Trail Blazers has a loyal fan base and supportive market, but the team is currently enduring image problems after hiring new head coach Chauncey Billups, who was accused of sexual assault in 1997. Billups was never charged and eventually settled with the accuser in 2000. Still, the team faced negative headlines and social media backlash after introducing Billups on Tuesday.

Also, franchise star Damian Lillard's future is still unclear after the team failed to advance in the first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs. If he's traded, the value of the Blazers' patch could decline. But executives within the club suggest the current PR issues are short term and shouldn't impact future team business.

The team is owned by the Paul Allen Estate and is worth $1.9 billion, according to Forbes, which also notes the club brings in roughly $240 million in revenue.

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