• Zack Stoloff

Zack’s cryptocurrency crash course

By Zack Stoloff

June 7, 2021


With the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and yes, even Dogecoin, athletes and front offices are exploring creative opportunities to integrate these digital assets into their contracts and business models.


Here are some of the most notable transactions and agreements that we have seen in recent times:


Cryptocurrency a part of recent NFL contracts

Photo Credit: Associated Press

On December 29th, 2020, Carolina Panthers offensive lineman, Russel Okung, negotiated the first-of-its-kind deal to divert nearly $6 million of his $13 million salary to the mobile payment company Strike in order to be purchased for Bitcoin investments.


Following Okung’s suit, Kansas City Chiefs tight end, Sean Culkin, announced on April 26, 2021, that he would convert his entire 2021 base salary to Bitcoin. Though he was cut from the squad a few weeks later, his intentions proved that cryptocurrency payments could be much more common in the future.


Also on April 26, 2021, Jacksonville Jaguars rookie sensation, Trevor Lawrence, entered into an endorsement deal with cryptocurrency app, Blockfolio. In exchange for getting Lawrence on board with the brand, Blockfolio has signed the rookie on for a diversified signing bonus account paid in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana investments (that has already increased in value).


Professional teams complete deals using crypto

Photo Credit: Associated Press

On April 1, 2021, the Oakland Athletics completed their first cryptocurrency transaction using Bitcoin. The team sold a full-season suite to crypto broker Voyager Digital in exchange for one Bitcoin.


In addition to having accepted Bitcoin transactions for almost two years now, the Dallas Mavericks announced on March 4, 2021 that they will now accept Dogecoin payments from merchants and consumers.


The Mavericks are the first sports franchise to accept Dogecoin as a legitimate form of payment.


The future of crypto in the sport industry

Because cryptocurrencies operate under a blockchain (a decentralized database that records transactions), payments are more secure and transparent.


For front offices, this is important because it helps with efficiency and transparency in each of their markets, like ticket sales.


Likewise, players who receive cryptocurrency in lieu of traditional currency can be comfortable with the digital asset’s integrity as well as its ability to serve as an investment for the future.


Moreover, the sports world is helping establish cryptocurrency as mainstream. In Trevor Lawrnece’s endorsement deal, for example, Blockfolio gains credibility through Lawrnece’s sponsorship and now has the ability to spread its message to a wider audience.


As more people are exposed to the crypto-world, investment companies like Blockfolio and cryptocurrency exchange platforms will grow and cryptocurrency itself will flourish. With this growth, there is no doubt that crytpo will further implement itself into the sport world.