Spanish Football Giant Barcelona Says no to Crypto Sponsors

Bob Mason
Updated: Feb 23, 2022, 13:37 UTC

Spanish football giant Barcelona says no to Binance and other crypto shops in favor of Spotify.

Hands holding smartphone displaying logo of Spotify

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While the world of sport and crypto continues to unite, Binance (BNB) took its first sponsorship deal rejection this week. The rejection came despite crypto platforms successfully targeting sports teams in recent months to build brand awareness.

Barcelona FC Says No to Crypto Sponsorship Deal

On Tuesday, Barcelona FC reportedly rejected sponsorship deals with crypto-related entities. According to the media, Barcelona FC cited a lack of confidence in the crypto sector and a lack of economic solidity as reasons for rejecting the crypto exchange offers.

The report added that the club is in the final stages of negotiations with Spotify (SPOT) in a deal worth €70-€75 million a season.

Barca’s decision to go mainstream bucked a recent trend that has seen crypto platforms immerse in the world of sport. The decision also came despite Binance launching the Barcelona Fan Token (BAR) last April. At the time of writing, BAR ranked #781 on CoinMarketCap, with a market capitalization of $19.61m.

Regulatory Scrutiny and Crypto Market volatility Likely Factors

The Barcelona FC decision bucked a recent trend that saw Binance becoming the main sponsor of the Argentine National soccer team. Similar to the fan token agreement with Barca, Binance will develop a new Argentine national team Fan Token. In 2021, Binance had issued a fan token in recognition of its sponsorship deal with Italian football team Lazio.

Other crypto names in the hunt for the Barca sponsorship deal had included FTX (FTT) and Polkadot (DOT).

For Barcelona FC, a marked increase in regulatory scrutiny and crypto market volatility likely contributed to the decision.

Binance has not been far from the news wires in recent months as regulators target crypto exchanges and the crypto market. In 2021, Binance withdrew its application for a Singapore license. Binance has also come under regulatory scrutiny in India, the UK, the U.S, and Canada.

As crypto-related companies look to build brand awareness via sport, increased regulatory scrutiny could further test the success of platforms such as Binance to win sponsorship deals. Reputation remains a key consideration for mainstream players. Uncertainty is also another factor. Central banks and governments have been clamping down on crypto advertising. For sponsorship deals, a ban on crypto advertising would have a negative impact on marketing and fan engagement.

About the Author

Bob Masonauthor

With over 20 years of experience in the finance industry, Bob has been managing regional teams across Europe and Asia and focusing on analytics across both corporate and financial institutions. Currently he is covering developments relating to the financial markets, including currencies, commodities, alternative asset classes, and global equities.

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