The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) signed a sponsorship deal with Turkish cryptocurrency platform Bitci that includes launching blockchain-based products for basketball fans around the world. The partnership, which began at the end of August of this year, will last until at least 2023.
Bitci operates a cryptocurrency exchange, but one of its major specialties is sports fan tokens. These team cryptocurrencies differ from non-fungible tokens, which are collectibles. Bitci is one of the few names in the industry that competes with Socios for fan tokens. It has some leading sports organizations on its roster, including current Portuguese football league champions Sporting, Premier League team Wolverhampton, the Brazilian Football Federation, McLaren Racing in F1, and MotoGP.
FIBA consists of 212 National Basketball Federations around the world and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the world governing body for basketball. The organization is the basketball equivalent of FIFA. For Bitici, signing a deal with FIBA is a major achievement. It will give the platform global exposure and enhance its credibility as a serious player in the market for fan tokens.
Besides launching fan tokens, Bitici will work with FIBA on developing a non-fungible token (NFT) collection of memorable highlights from FIBA’s archives.
The partnership also provides Bitci with commercial rights such as premium brand visibility on the court and exclusive Presenting Sponsorship Rights across selected FIBA competitions.
The commercial rights extend to Continental Cups, Youth World Cups, the Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2022, and the Men’s Basketball World Cup in 2023. In 2019, the latter achieved an overall TV audience of over 3 billion and generated a further 1.5 billion views across social media platforms. During that time, FIBA’s mobile app accounted for 2 million downloads, 150 million page views, and an increase of 24 million fans on social media.
In comparison, Wolverhampton has less than two million followers on Instagram and Sporting has a little more than one million followers on Instagram. Sporting’s league cup win also only reached 2.3 million viewers. These are by no means bad statistics, however, it showcases the influence and impact of a global brand such as FIBA, and the potential it brings to Bitci’s growth.
“We have been expanding our partnerships globally this year but partnering with FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, is a game-changer for us,” said Bitci’s CEO Altan Tan.” It proves Bitci’s commitment to the world of sports by offering secure services in the blockchain industry. We will work diligently to create a unique FIBA fan token that will have a strong and sustainable value for the fans. The future will prove that FIBA has selected the right partner in the blockchain industry.”
Meanwhile, Socios is still the market leader when it comes to fan tokens. The platform made headlines when it was announced that PSG would pay part of Messi’s contract in fan tokens. Socios also recently signed deals with Premier League teams Everton and Arsenal.