NBA Lands First Cryptocurrency Sponsorship With Coinbase

  • NBA has agreed to a sponsorship deal with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which will become the league’s exclusive crypto partner.
  • Coinbase will get WNBA, NBA G League, and USA Basketball branding, but the deal’s terms were not provided.
  • Bitcoin will most likely be sidelined given Coinbase’s priorities with marketing and “crypto.”

The National Basketball Association has agreed to a sponsorship deal with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase ahead of its 75th anniversary, CNBC reported. With the agreement, the exchange has become the exclusive cryptocurrency partner of the NBA.

“The tech firm wants to increase awareness around blockchain technology to grow the crypto economy,” the report said. “Hence, the NBA will provide the company exposure including in Tuesday’s regular-season tip-off games on WarnerMedia property Turner Sports. Coinbase will also get presenting partner rights for the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup and the USA Basketball men’s and women’s national team exhibition tours.”

Coinbase will leverage nearly all of the platforms of the NBA, including the WNBA, NBA G League, NBA 2K League, and USA Basketball.

“In a statement, NBA executive Kerry Tatlock labeled Coinbase ‘a natural fit’ for the league’s cryptocurrency asset,” per the report. “NBA clubs have already leveraged crypto-related deals, including the Portland Trail Blazers’ jersey patch and Miami Heat arena naming rights.”

Although it is interesting to see the “crypto” industry advancing into the mainstream market, Bitcoin will likely be sidelined, given Coinbase’s priorities.

Bitcoin is the de-facto innovation and the precursor of all the activity in the “crypto” industry. But more importantly, it is inherently separate from that industry, as both seek different goals. While Bitcoin strives to establish a new financial system, “crypto” aims to improve the existing one.

The dividing line between Bitcoin and “crypto” should be part of Coinbase’s goal to “increase awareness” by leveraging its NBA exposure. However, that will likely not be the case, given that Coinbase is most often focused on establishing a high-time preference casino than empowering people by promoting education on freedom, sovereignty, economics, and Bitcoin.


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Coinbase announces multiyear partnership with NBA and WNBA

Major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has inked a deal with the National Basketball Association, giving the platform the opportunity to educate basketball fans on crypto.

In a Tuesday announcement, Coinbase said it would become the exclusive cryptocurrency platform partner of the National Basketball Association, or NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association, NBA G League, NBA 2K League and USA Basketball as part of a multiyear sponsorship deal. According to the NBA, Coinbase will create “unique content, innovations, activations and experiences” for basketball fans to learn about the crypto space, as well as be a partner of the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup, the USA Basketball men’s and women’s national team exhibition tours and the NBA G League Ignite.

Coinbase chief marketing officer Kate Rouch said the partnership would involve “interactive experiences to engage with the NBA and WNBA’s incredible community and athletes around the world.” The announcement comes as the NBA prepares to start its 2021–2022 season, marking the association’s 75th anniversary.

Related: Fan tokens: Day trading your favorite sports team

According to data from Statista, an average of 1.6 million people watched NBA regular-season games across major networks during the 2019–2020 season. Coinbase said it would be featured during nationally televised NBA games.

Many crypto companies and platforms have formed partnerships with sports organizations across the globe as the space expands and seemingly becomes more profitable as a sponsor. Crypto derivatives exchange FTX announced it had become the official sponsor of Major League Baseball in June and previously struck a deal to


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NBA and Coinbase Form Cryptocurrency Partnership

Key Takeaways

  • Coinbase will become the NBA’s official crypto platform through a new partnership and sponsorship deal.
  • The partnership will also apply to NBA’s other leagues, including its women’s, minor, and e-sports leagues.
  • Coinbase will produce content related to the NBA and gain a presence during televised games.

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The National Basketball Association has partnered with Coinbase according to a press release from the basketball group.

Partnership Will Involve Sponsorship Deal

The partnership, which will involve a sponsorship deal, will make Coinbase the official crypto platform of the NBA.

The deal will see Coinbase provide content and experiences related to the NBA. Coinbase will become a presenting partner for some NBA leagues, and it will gain a brand presence on TV basketball games.

The partnership will also apply to the NBA’s women’s league (WNBA), its minor league (G League), its e-sports league (NBA 2K) and its national men’s league (USA Basketball).

It is unclear whether this will translate into the ability for audiences to pay for tickets and merch with cryptocurrency.

Kerry Tatlock of the NBA called Coinbase a “trusted cryptocurrency platform used by millions” and “a natural fit as the NBA’s first-ever partner in this thriving category.”

Coinbase is currently the second-largest exchange by trading volume, with $4 billion traded in the last 24 hours.

Some NBA Teams Already Use Crypto

At least two NBA teams have independently embraced cryptocurrency prior to today’s news. The Dallas Mavericks, under Mark Cuban, is famous for accepting cryptocurrency including Dogecoin as payment for tickets and merchandise.

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The Sacramento Kings, meanwhile, began to offer players their salary in Bitcoin this year; it has also mined Ethereum in the past.

This March, team owners formed an advisory group in order to find new ways to integrate blockchain with the basketball league. It is unclear whether today’s news is related to that effort.

The NBA previously partnered with Dapper Labs on Top Shots, a line of NFT collectibles featuring highlights from various players.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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Retro NFT packs drive frenzied Top Shot speculation

Trade volume for NBA Top Shot’s nonfungible tokens (NFT) has skyrocketed over the weekend following the launch of its retro “Run It Back 2005-06” packs on Friday.

According to Crypto Slam, daily volume on NBA Top Shot’s marketplace jumped by more than 440% from $829,520 on Thursday to more than $4.5 million the next day. Saturday also saw more than $4 million worth of tokens trade hands.

NBA Top Shot’s NFTs feature video highlights depicting key moments from the history of professional basketball, with the latest packs celebrating the stars of the 2005–2006 season.

On Sunday, NBA Top Shot tweeted that nearly 10,000 “Run It Back 2005-06” packs had been sold in 24 hours at a rate of seven purchases per minute.

The packs started at $169 each, with collectors competing to snag moments depicting basketball legends such as LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal. NBA Top Shot’s packs feature three tiers of rarity ranging from “common” to “legendary.”

Crypto Slam data shows that the NBA Top Shot marketplace has hosted a whopping $744 million worth of secondary sales since July 2020. NBA Top Shot trade activity peaked during the first quarter of 2021, with $45.7 million worth of trades occurring within 24 hours on Feb. 22.

While more than $200 million worth of NBA Top Shot NFTs changed hands during the months of February and March, the monthly volume has since retraced sharply, with approximately $20 million of trades taking place during September and October.

Related: Top Shot to sell exclusive NFT moments at live basketball games

After its weekend surge, NBA Top Shot is ranked as the third-largest NFT project by daily secondary volume, with more than $2.5 million in tokens trading hands in the last 24 hours, according to Crypto Slam.

Axie Infinity ranks in first place with $18.6 million worth of trades for the past day, while CryptoPunks is second with a 24-hour volume of $6.2 million.

In late September, Dapper Labs, the team behind NBA Top Shot, announced plans to branch out beyond basketball and launch an NFT platform and marketplace in partnership with the National Football League (NFL). Dapper Labs is currently targeting to have completed its first NFL drop by the end of 2021.