Web3 Watch: Binance seems likely to retain its sports partnerships despite DOJ actions

Plus, Solana NFT collection partners with ZARA and OpenSea fees tumble


Cristiano Ronaldo | oday jamil moari modified by Blockworks


Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo faces a class action lawsuit in Florida for his allegedly “deceptive and unlawful” promotion of Binance, which recently settled with the US Department of Justice.

But Ronaldo appears unbothered, posting on X this week that he’s “cooking something up” with the exchange.

Ronaldo’s continued involvement highlights a larger trend: Binance’s long list of sports partnerships seem to remain intact despite the Department of Justice’s actions against the centralized exchange and its former CEO, Changpeng Zhao. 

Binance has had several sports partners, particularly in soccer, including as Argentina’s fan token provider during its World Cup run. Binance ended its partnership with Argentinian soccer this summer.

Pet Berisha, author of the “Sporting Crypto” newsletter, told Blockworks that Binance’s deals are likely safe because assuming the exchange remains solvent, it can still meet its payment obligations — unlike FTX, which had to renege on its deals.

Because of the demographic overlap between sports fans and crypto users, Berisha said he expects crypto projects to continue their sports advertising spending, though he expects Binance “will refrain from spending until the noise dies down here and they’ve built up a cash reserve.”

‘Okay Bears’ go live at ZARA

The Solana NFT collection Okay Bears has a set of shirts with its branding available in 1,149 ZARA stores worldwide. 

The shirts are only listed in kids’ sizes on ZARA’s website. Okay Bears and ZARA did not return requests for comment about the specifics of the partnership. 

The partnership follows on Pudgy Penguins’ move to bring toy versions of its NFTs to 2,000 Walmart stores in September. 

Solana NFT volumes hit their highest point in over a year on Wednesday, according to @punk9059 on X.

One interesting stat:

  • OpenSea, the embattled NFT marketplace, earned less than $2 million in fees in October, down from a high of $387 million in January 2022, according to a Dune dashboard. 

Also of note:

  • Magic Eden is rolling out a wallet to pair with its cross-chain NFT platform. The wallet works with Bitcoin, Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon.
  • On-chain collectible platform Zora introduced Notes, where users can mint bits of text, and is now allowing users to get started on the platform with just an email address rather than a crypto wallet.

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