OKX, a spot and derivatives cryptocurrency exchange, is the latest in the industry to venture into the world of sports. The company recently signed a sponsorship deal with Premier League champions Manchester City, with the deal covering their men’s, women’s and esports teams.
The organizations will collaborate to deliver many “experiences” to OKX’s customer base, according to a press release issued today. The exchange is the second largest in the world by daily trading volume, behind Binance, according to data from CoinGecko.
The company’s deal with Manchester City also means OKX will have a “presence” at the Etihad Stadium and the Academy Stadium, the former being the 10th largest football stadium in the UK.
OKX is far from the first crypto exchange to capitalize on sports advertising. Crypto.com and FTX have each spent a lot of money recently to buy the naming rights to major sports arenaswhile the Coinbase logo and branding are plastered everywhere from the NHL to the NBA.
In fact, these three exchanges competed in a Super Bowl publicity fight last month. The ads seem to have had some success, at least for Coinbase—the company has indicated that its website crashed of one traffic overflow shortly after its ad aired.
Part of the emphasis on sports may be due to demographics. According to a CNBC investigation as of august, young men are more likely than others to invest in crypto—and also more likely to be sports enthusiasts.
Athletes themselves are also increasingly investing in crypto. Odell Beckham Jr. of the NFL took his full salary in Bitcoin last year, while Aaron Rodgers announced in November that he would take some of his own salary in BTC. Tom Brady, meanwhile, is heavily involved in the crypto industry, both with his own startup, Autograph, and a stake in FTX.
FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried complaints that his company’s sporting push is “clearly working”. Last month he said Decrypt that it’s “more penetrating than anything else” FTX has done in terms of marketing, and that it’s “a priority” for anyone who now knows the brand.