Uncertainty and questions arise over the NFL crypto ban imposed on teams and players. Teams cannot receive crypto sponsorships or be involved in NFTs.
The National Football League (NFL) has put a ban on teams from transacting certain types of businesses with crypto companies, including the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and sponsorship rights. A statement from an anonymous NFL team official read:
“Clubs are prohibited from selling, or otherwise allowing within club controlled media, advertisements for specific cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, other cryptocurrency sales or any other media category as it relates to blockchain, digital asset or as blockchain company, except as outlined in this policy.”
According to reports, the ban is temporary, until the NFL adopts an official strategy for NFTs and crypto.
The NFL ban comes after a large number of its star players and teams already endorsed NFT and crypto ventures. For example, popular quarterback Tom Brady showed his support for BTC in the past with laser eyes. Brady also launched his own NFT company called Autograph. Furthermore, the multiple Super Bowl champion and his wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, are in a long-term partnership with FTX.
The Bradys are far from the only examples of NFL-affiliated entities collaborating with the crypto space. The New York Giants, a popular NFL team, partnered with Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest crypto asset manager. Trevor Lawrence, another quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars invested in crypto in May with his signing bonus. Russell Okung, who plays as an offensive tackle reinvests half of his salary in BTC. Okung even launched his own Bitcoin brand and event series called, “Bitcoin Is _”.
Yet another quarterback, this time for the Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes released an NFT collection on Marketplace six months ago. Furthermore, Rob Gronkowski of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also sold an NFT collection.
NFL Crypto Ban Comes amid Other Sports’ Leagues Exploiting NFTs and Crypto Opportunities
There’s currently no word on how this recent NFL mandate will affect those who already did business with crypto firms. However, teams and players yet to enter such collaborations will apparently be unable to do so. Nonetheless, the new NFL policy will still permit sponsorship deals from firms supporting the crypto space on an advisory level. These include the provision of investment advisory or fund management services as it pertains to digital currencies. The condition here is that such sponsorship rights be restrained to promoting the company’s corporate brands.
Meanwhile, other professional sports leagues such as the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB), have bigger stakes in crypto. The former recently launched an NFT scheme called ‘Top Shot’ with developers, Dapper Labs. The NBA looks to do the same for its female counterpart league the WNBA. The MLB, on the other hand, offers digital collectibles in collaboration with Topps. The initiative, dubbed the 2021 Topps MLB Inception NFT Collection, offers a host of digital collectibles with varying features.