In the world of sports, superstar athletes have often been the face of brands and sponsors, but with the rise of cryptocurrency, a new trend is emerging – crypto sponsorships. Lionel Messi’s arrival in Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami has provided the perfect canvas for XBTO, a market-making and venture capital company, to showcase its brand on the international stage. This harmonious deal has revitalised the crypto sponsorship trend, as Messi’s jersey proudly showcases XBTO’s presence, making an impact for the industry.
When Messi stepped onto the pitch donning the flamingo-pink Inter Miami home jersey, all eyes were on the back with his iconic name and number. However, it was the front of the jersey that truly captured the spotlight. The prominent “XBTO” logo emblazoned across Messi’s chest served as a visual testament to the company’s strategic sponsorship deal. XBTO’s gamble, inked back in 2021, has turned into a winning move, as the crypto market continues to evolve.
“We used to keep our head low, but we’ve gotten to a scale now where we need to be more vocal, show the world that we exist,” said Philippe Bekhazi, founder of XBTO, during a recent Bitcoin Magazine podcast. The partnership with Messi and Inter Miami has allowed XBTO to shed its behind-the-scenes image and become more visible in the crypto community and beyond.
The impact of Messi’s arrival on XBTO’s visibility cannot be overstated. Fans and viewers have been captivated not only by Messi’s sublime soccer skills but also by the bold display of the “XBTO” logo on his jersey. Jerseys with Messi’s name and the XBTO logo have reportedly sold out until the fall, demonstrating the tremendous public interest generated by this unique sponsorship.
XBTO’s success in leveraging Messi’s star power underscores the potential of crypto sponsorships in the sports industry. As Miami emerges as a crypto-friendly hub, other blockchain-based companies may follow XBTO’s lead and explore similar sponsorship opportunities to reach a wider audience.
This resurgence in crypto sponsorships is poised to create a win-win situation for both athletes and companies. For athletes like Messi, partnering with crypto firms can lead to lucrative deals and exposure to a growing industry. On the other hand, crypto companies stand to gain tremendous brand visibility and credibility by associating with iconic sports figures like Messi.
It’s essential to acknowledge that crypto sponsorships in the sports world are not entirely new. As seen in recent examples, the cryptocurrency industry has been making significant strides in securing high-profile partnerships. In 2021, FTX, the now-defunct crypto exchange, inked a multi-year deal with Mercedes F1 in September 2021, showcasing the industry’s willingness to collaborate with prestigious sports franchises. Similarly, Crypto.com made a bold move by taking over the iconic Staples Center, renaming it the Crypto.com Arena, highlighting the increasing prevalence of crypto-related sponsorships in major sports arenas.
These examples underscore how the cryptocurrency sector has been venturing into the sports sponsorship arena, leveraging the popularity of sports icons and venues to bolster brand recognition and reach a wider audience.
Messi’s jersey continues to serve as an advertisement master stroke for XBTO—it sends a clear message to the American crypto sector: crypto sponsorships are back and here to stay. The trend ignited by XBTO’s successful display on Messi’s shirt is likely to pave the way for more crypto-centric partnerships in the world of sports, forging a new era of collaboration between sports icons and blockchain-based enterprises.