AntPool, owned by Bitmain, announced that next season they would be an official partner of the NBA Houston Rockets basketball team. Last year Frost & Sullivan estimated Bitmain had a 67% market share in bitcoin mining hardware. They also own or influence mining pools that control more than 42% of Bitcoin’s hashing power.
China-based Bitmain plans to base its US expansion in Houston. Plus the Rockets are the most popular NBA team in China. That’s in part because Yao Ming a national sports star played for Houston Rockets for many years.
In the Facebook statement, Haijiao Li, AntPool Overseas Operations Manager said: “As far as professional sports teams go, the Houston Rockets are legendary across the globe and what better way to continue the momentum of our U.S. expansion than partnering with the prolific Houston Rockets basketball club, the No. 1 team in China.”
“As the crypto currency industry around the globe continues to evolve and develop, it is going to be more and more important for companies like AntPool to lead the conversation and conversion of consumers to adopt and understand digital currencies.”
“The Rockets are always looking to stay ahead of the curve with technology both on and off the court and AntPool’s prowess with crypto currency makes for a great partnership,” said Rockets VP of Corporate Development John Croley.
From January the company plans to have an AntPool exhibition inside the Toyota Center so that fans can learn more about the technology.
Bitmain produces the most popular hardware used for Bitcoin mining. In addition to being a major player with ASICS chips, they have designs on AI chips under the Sophon brand.
Plus Bitmain controls two of the largest Bitcoin mining pools, AntPool, and BTC.com as well as a significant investment in a third, ViaBTC.
Bitmain is reported to be hugely profitable. Nonetheless, earlier this year Sequoia Capital China led a Series B round of more than $300 million. TechCrunch said last month that Bitmain had revenues of $2 billion in the first quarter and is expected to reach $10 billion for the year. An IPO is anticipated.
Other corporate sponsorships
Earlier this month Paris Saint Germain (PSG) announced a football fan token platform with Socios.com.