“Fortune Favours The Brave” was a message championed by Crypto.com in 2021. Fast forward just under one year and the global crypto exchange may have been punching above its weight.
According to a report by SportBusiness, Crypto.com is pulling out of a five-year sponsorship deal with the UEFA Champions League. The deal is said to be worth US$495 million, and would have been one of the league’s biggest deals.
Crypto.com was positioned to take over Russian-state owned energy company Gazprom as UEFA had cancelled the Russian contract following the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Last year, Crypto.com signed a 20-year deal to rebrand LA’s iconic stadium Staples Center to Crypto.com Arena. Crypto.com also became the sponsor of NBA team Philadelphia 76ers and signed a deal with Ultimate Fighting Championship and Formula 1.
The Singapore-based exchange cited regulatory concerns in the U.K., France and Italy for cancelling the deal. However, Crypto.com has been taking the brunt of crypto winter hard.
Most recently, Crypto.com “lied” about only laying off 5% (260 employees) in June. Instead, the Singapore-based crypto exchange company is engaging in a second round of layoffs, which are cited to be worse than in June.
Crypto and crypto bro bravado has long plagued crypto advertising, but crypto winter has pushed the industry to rethink their dedication to bro-culture.
Despite Super Bowl LVI being nicknamed “Crypto Bowl” due to its overwhelming attention from crypto ads, Binance was among the few who turned down sponsoring the final.
“It was not easy saying no to Super bowl ads, stadium naming rights, large sponsor deals a few months ago, but we did. Today, we are hiring for 2000 open positions for #Binance,” CZ tweeted. It now seems Crypto.com is learning this the hard way.
But perhaps crypto companies relaxing their grasp on sports advertising could result in a less crypto bro-centric culture. There’s simply no place for the testosterone-driven bull market energy from 2021, and this could be refreshingly eye opening as we navigate our way together out of crypto winter.
Although the Champions League may no longer be on the cards for crypto, teams participating in the tournament still have exposure. The likes of Tezos and OKX are continuing to sponsor Manchester United and Manchester City respectively, but crypto firms will undoubtedly need to assess the extent to which such sponsorships affect their bottom line at the end of the season.
Crypto winter is a testing time, but maybe not even Erling Haaland can deliver for OKX.