The Australian Football League (AFL) has secured the first major crypto sports sponsorship deal Down Under with Crypto.com for both its men’s and women’s competitions, with the latter’s 2022 season already under way.
Worth A$25 million over five years, the deal is one of the biggest sponsorships of any kind in Australian sport, eclipsing the AFL’s current deal with major sponsor Toyota (worth A$18.5 million).
Singapore-based Crypto.com says its motivation for sponsoring women’s AFL (AFLW) is what it recognises as Australian women’s higher than average adoption and take-up of cryptocurrency by global standards. The company had already engaged A-list actor Matt Damon as the face of its current TV advertising campaign in Australia, though it may be that Crypto.com is banking on his appeal to women as much as to men.
AFL Joins Baseball, Euro Football, Martial Arts and F1
Crypto.com has splurged more than A$1.5 billion on a series of sports branding deals in recent months, including a $US700m (A$971m) naming rights agreement for a Los Angeles baseball stadium, and partnerships with other major sports clients including Euro football powerhouse Paris St Germain, the UFC and Formula One.
The new Australian agreement involves Crypto.com becoming the official cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform of the AFL and AFLW. According to Karl Mohan, Crypto.com general manager Asia & Pacific, research conducted by the company in Australia found that 53 per cent of crypto investors were women, which encouraged it to embrace the AFLW element of the overall deal.
Uniquely for Australia, compared to other markets, is that they generally skew towards blokes, but here we are skewing more towards women … We think the AFL has led the way [in bringing] gender diversity to Australian sport.
Karl Mohan, general manager Asia & Pacific, Crypto.com
Crypto.com branding will appear during score reviews in AFL regular season and finals matches, when contentious goal line decisions are reviewed on video by off-field umpires.
Kylie Rogers, the AFL’s general manager for customer and commercial, said the sport had identified cryptocurrency and blockchain as a potential new sponsorship source last year, and clinched the Crypto.com agreement after several months of negotiations.
AFL ‘At the Forefront’ of Australian Crypto Growth
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said the partnership marked an exciting new chapter for Australian Rules football: “Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is a dynamic and emerging industry, and the AFL is delighted to partner with Crypto.com to be at the forefront of the industry’s growth in Australia.”
Four AFL clubs – the Sydney Swans, Brisbane Lions, Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons – now have direct sponsorship deals involving cryptocurrency companies other than Crypto.com.
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