Liverpool is reportedly in talks to have a cryptocurrency firm as their main shirt sponsor, which would be a Premier League first
Liverpool £70m crypto shirt sponsor deal
From June 2023 onwards, Liverpool is reportedly in talks to have a cryptocurrency firm as their main shirt sponsor, which would be a Premier League first.
Standard Chartered has been on the front of the Reds’ shirts since the 2010-11 season, but their £40 million-a-year sponsorship deal with the financial services firm expires in May 2023.
While talks about a contract extension are ongoing, The Athletic reports that the club is also in talks with companies in the media, tourism, and electronics sectors, as well as crypto companies.
Liverpool is now looking for a deal worth more than £40 million per season, and the company is considering channeling its resources elsewhere.
“Discussions about extending their partnership are still ongoing,’ but the Reds are also talking to firms from sectors such as electronics, media, and tourism.” Companies from the cryptocurrency sector are among them, with Liverpool speaking with a crypto exchange firm — a platform for buying and selling digital currency — and a blockchain platform (a decentralized computer network that underpins cryptocurrencies).”
— David Ornstein,The Athletic
Cryptocurrency In Premier League
They would not be the first Premier League club to sign a deal with a cryptocurrency company, but they would be the first to have one as their primary shirt sponsor, which is likely to be a divisive decision.
The Merseysiders are ‘desperate to compete financially with other elite clubs and maximize their commercial deals,’ with a potential deal worth more than £70 million over two seasons.’
“There are a lot of environmental concerns about blockchains, which require vast computing power to operate, and the sector is largely unregulated and closely associated with financial speculation. Cryptocurrency can be purchased and sold on exchanges for profit or loss, potentially putting fans at risk.”
— David Ornstein,The Athletic
Six Premier League clubs have signed deals with crypto sponsor Socios, which sells ‘fan engagement tokens,’ but none of them has chosen the company as their primary shirt sponsor.
Liverpool NFTs Collection
Liverpool fan groups have yet to be consulted about the possibility of a crypto firm on the front of their shirts, despite similar consultations taking place in March when NFTs (non-fungible tokens) were launched.
“A huge thank you to everyone who has taken part and purchased an NFT, this is an incredible amount of money to raise. This funding raised so far for the Foundation will enable us to deliver more activities in schools and offer employability and inclusive sports sessions for young people across the Liverpool City Region. It will help make a real difference, so thank you once again.”
— Matt Parish, Chief Executive Of LFC Foundation
The controversial foray into the world of cryptocurrency saw the club sell less than 10,000 non-fungible tokens out of a total of 171,000.
A total of £1.125 million worth of NFTs were sold over the course of six days, with a set of 24 unique ‘Legendary’ 1 of 1 NFTs and a series of generative ‘Hero Edition’ NFTs.
With an additional 10% from the ‘Hero Edition’ sale and 10% of all future resale royalties, half of the proceeds from the ‘Legendary’ 1 of 1 auction went to supporting LFC Foundation, which helps provide life-changing opportunities for young people and families.
The NFTs – digital artworks of stars like Mohamed Salah and manager Jurgen Klopp – were auctioned off at Sotheby’s for $75 (£57) each, totaling $12.8 million (£9.8 million).
With only 6% of the possible NFTs sold, the headline figure of 9,721 sales suggests that the club failed to attract anywhere near the investment it had hoped for.
Despite this, Liverpool can boast that revenue from the sale of their NFTs totaled £1.125 million, with £281,374.98 going to the club’s charity, the LFC Foundation.