Crypto Corner: The Sports Slice

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One of the biggest stages of the game is approaching the final as France and Argentina clash in Sunday’s storyline match. Argentina’s Lionel Messi is set to bring home his first World Cup championship despite a storied career, but will need to overcome a powerful France side who conceded just one goal throughout the tournament.

Meanwhile, crypto partnerships in sports seem to have a breakdown not seen since the pre-2021 bull run, with big-dollar spending on sports sponsorships just as important today.

As the market has cooled, so have sports deals. Let’s take a look at the past week of activity across sports and crypto.

Sports Slice

Red Bull Racing Closes Door on Tesos Partnerships

It appears that Tessos is not partnering with Red Bull Racing A SportsPro report This week. Despite some light surrounding the partnership, blockchain is not listed on the racing team’s website, and the Tesos branding – which previously boasted the entire F1 vehicle – is noticeably absent from the latest display.

SportsPro compared the abruptly terminated contract to Mercedes and FTX, saying that a blockchain is significantly different than a centralized exchange. Nevertheless, the deal signals a risk-mitigation tactic from Racing Club to reduce crypto exposure (as they already have a partnership with exchange Pipet).

Other variables may certainly be at play, but to suggest anything more would be completely baseless speculation.

Tezos (XTZ) is seemingly no longer a partner of Red Bull Racing. | Source: XTZ-USD on

Bear market moves aside: Decentralized sports betting firm raises nearly $5M

Frontrunner, a decentralized sports betting platform, last week raised $4.75M in its latest capital funding round led by Susquehanna Private Equity Investments.

Speculative gambling markets and crypto-digens go hand in hand. Frontrunner has found success with a slick UI that lays out betting odds in an easy-to-digest fashion, while offering some of the lines in the world’s biggest sports leagues.

Frontrunner is built on COSMOS and launched its testnet in Q3 with cross-chain ambitions. In an interview TechCrunchFrontrunner CEO Neil Zhang spoke directly to The Element:

“So far most of our competitors have been in the Solana ecosystem. But we’ve really got a multi-chain type view of the long-term vision of our products. So we’ve chosen to be in the Cosmos ecosystem first, which we’re really positive about in terms of interchain functionality and some of the multi-chain technologies that are being built there.

Schock is the latest to face criticism over the FTX ambassador

NBA Hall of Fame icon Shaquille O’Neal is known for his dominant career on the floor, and his business extends off the court.

He said about FTX in an advertisement. Hindsight may be 20/20, as O’Neal advocated for FTX earlier this year over Tom Brady, Steph Curry, Naomi Osaka and other sports icons. Mainstream publications have picked up a clip in recent months in which O’Neill says he “doesn’t really understand crypto,” despite previously appearing in promotional assets for FTX.

Regardless, none of the stars knew better than we did until FTX’s business all but crumbled. What matters most is how they behave.

Steph Curry, Serena Williams, and others were cited in the Bored Monkey case

A class-action lawsuit against the owners of the popular Borat Ape Yacht Club, including NBA star Steph Curry and tennis legend Serena Williams, has made headlines over the past week.

The two plaintiffs believe BAYC creators Yuka Labs used athletes, entertainers and influencers to promote the NFT program without proper disclosures. The federal court filing states:

“…the company’s entire business model relies on the use of insidious marketing and promotional activities by A-list celebrities, who are overcompensated without disclosure, to increase demand for Yuka bonds by convincing potential retail investors that the price of these digital assets will rise. “

It’s been a tough slate for Curry, who was named in the FTX class-action and is now sidelined with a shoulder injury that could keep him out of the upcoming Christmas Day Games – a notorious one. The biggest action days of every NBA season.


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