Cryptocurrency exchange Binance on Thursday announced a non-fungible token (NFT) partnership with football legend, Cristiano Ronaldo.
The world’s largest exchange by trading volume, in a press statement, noted that the multi-year partnership seeks to connect Ronaldo with his fans by leveraging Web3 with NFTs acting as an entry point.
Under the partnership, the Manchester United player, alongside Binance, will launch a global campaign focused on the introduction of Ronaldo’s fans to Web3, with the use of NFTs.
The deal will see CR7 & Binance create several NFT collections that will be on sale on the Binance NFT platform. The initial collectibles are expected to be released later in the year.
According to founder and CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao(CZ):
“Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best footballers in the world and has transcended sport to become an icon in several areas. Thanks to his authenticity, talent and charitable work, he has gathered around him one of the most loyal fan bases ever. We are excited to offer his fans exclusive opportunities to connect with him and thus own a piece of sports history.”
The sporting icon, Cristiano Ronaldo says:
The relationship with the fans is very important to me, so the idea of offering unprecedented experiences and access through this NFT platform is something I wanted to be a part of. I know that the fans will appreciate the collection as much as I do”.
Notably, the cost of the partnership between Ronaldo and Binance has not yet been revealed. However, it is speculated to be a multi-million dollar deal.
How this move will boost NFT mainstream adoption
The collaboration between crypto industry giant, Binance and CR7 underscores the fact that the former has the most forward-thinking individuals at its helm of affairs.
Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the most influential sportsperson in history, and this deal is pivotal to how much dominance and relevance Binance will continue to wield in the industry.
The Portuguese superstar has around 600 million followers across his social media platforms. In this light, Binance is expected to leverage on that followership and exposure to expand its NFT market share.
Binance Smart Chain is the second most used blockchain (behind Ethereum), with 407 different protocols built on it and $5.96 billion of value locked, according to data from DeFi Llama.
With those impressive numbers, Binance NFTs have struggled to gain traction despite being built on one of the leading crypto ecosystems.
According to data from DappRadar, Binance’s decentralized exchange and leading protocol, PanCakeSwap is 20th in terms of NFT marketplaces, with only $79 million of cumulative trading volume.
Comparatively, Ethereum marketplaces like OpenSea and LooksRare have $31.24 billion and $23.23 billion respectively.
Therefore, the partnership could be seen as an attempt by Binance to crack the NFT market, bring value to BSC and begin increasing the blockchain’s NFT market share.
A quote tweet by CZ on the official announcement substantiates this assertion: “Now, we start.”
Furthermore, CR7’s advent into the world of NFT and by extension crypto, is expected to improve the fortune of the market that has been on a downturn in 2022.
According to data from The Block Crypto, the total monthly volume of major NFT marketplaces have been on a downward spiral since the beginning of the year, plunging to extraordinary lows in June.
CR7’s interest in the sector is expected to reignite the NFT craze.
Other sports & crypto partnerships
There have been a handful of NFT and athletes/sports entities collaborations since the start of the year.
In May, basketball player Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) filed for 26 NFT and metaverse trademark applications.
Two weeks ago, the English Premier League (EPL) also filed two trademark applications to increase interactions with fans.
In addition to Binance sponsorship of the African continental football competition in January, the crypto firm has existing partnerships with the Argentine Football Association, the Brazilian Football Confederation as well as professional sports clubs S.S. Lazio (IT) and FC Porto (PT).