• Crypto.com branding on UFC apparel to debut during July 10 fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor
  • Voyager CEO to speak at inaugural event for professional athletes to explore wealth-building strategies

Crypto companies already well known by their users are becoming more visible to the general public through sponsorships and education campaigns within the sports realm.

Crypto.com, a platform with more than 10 million global users, is partnering with UFC to place its branding on apparel worn by mixed martial arts athletes. It will also be integrated into UFC content on platforms including live broadcasts, pay-per-views and UFC-owned social media channels.

The branding will debut on July 10 in Las Vegas during a bout between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor and will reach a UFC fan base estimated to be 625 million people.

“It’s a historic moment as the fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform joins forces with the fastest-growing sport to help accelerate the world’s transition to cryptocurrency,” Kris Marszalek, co-Founder and CEO of Crypto.com, said in a statement. “This is just the beginning of a long relationship with UFC, and we’re looking forward to what we will build together.”

The digital assets company was founded in 2016 and is a top-10 finance app in both the App Store and Google Play. Earlier this year, Crypto.com became the first crypto platform to partner with an Formula 1 team, an NHL team and soccer’s Lega Serie A. 

Maggie Ng, chief marketing officer at Coindirect, said it makes sense that firms in the sector are looking for ways to reach more mainstream audiences, noting that sports has long been a powerful vehicle for marketing.

“Marquee sports events have a global footprint, which suits firms with international ambitions, and the typical sports audience also suits crypto firms with the prevalence of young males,” she told Blockworks. “The recent tie-ups in the space make absolute sense and will benefit the whole sector in demystifying it, and making it a more familiar and approachable proposition.”

A Crypto.com spokesperson did not immediately respond to Blockworks’ request for comment about future branding plans with the UFC and other potential partners it may be considering. 

The UFC sponsorship was announced the same day that Voyager Digital, a US platform for cryptocurrency investing and trading, revealed that it is the official cryptocurrency partner for the inaugural Players Symposium. 

The event, held in Las Vegas from July 7 to 9, was created for professional athletes to explore wealth-building strategies across finance, crypto, real estate, personal branding, entrepreneurship, esports and marketing. It will host 100 NFL players.

“[Crypto] plays an important role in long-term financial goals and is a new asset class individuals can have as a way to diversify their portfolios,” Voyager CEO Steve Ehrlich said in a statement. “Athletes are continually presented with business opportunities, and it’s essential for them to be equipped with the best resources to make financial decisions.”

Ehrlich will be presenting at the symposium with Nascar driver Landon Cassill, who Voyager sponsored last month – paying him fully in cryptocurrencies – for the 2021 Xfinity Series.

Analysts said last month that Voyager’s zero-commission trading model, broad array of crypto trading pairs and large number of coins gives it a stronger value proposition than competitors like Coinbase, Square and PayPal.

The latest moves by Crypto.com and Voyager come less than a week before the MLB All Star Game, during which the game’s umpires will wear an FTX.US patch on their uniform. The 2019 All-Star Game was watched by more than 8 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings.

FTX became the official cryptocurrency exchange brand of Major League Baseball last month. Umpires will continue sporting the FTX patch for future regular season, postseason and spring training games and fans will see other FTX brand promotion around nationally televised MLB games, MLB.com, MLB Network, MLB.TV and its social media platforms.

  • Ben Strack is a Denver-based reporter covering macro economics, financial services and digital asset management. Prior to joining Blockworks, he covered the asset management industry for Fund Intelligence, and was a reporter and editor for various local newspapers on Long Island. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism.