7 Athletes Are Now Getting Paid in Bitcoin & Why More Will Join Soon.
Bitcoin is becoming the new way for athletes to diversify their contracts and endorsement deals. Marketing stunt or smart money move?
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Over the last year, we’ve seen a merger between sports and crypto.
In 1 year, the return of the most popular cryptos have skyrocketed:
Bitcoin = 224%
Ethereum = 701%
Solana = 775%
Several popular crypto companies like FTX, BlockFi, and Crypto.com are spending millions of dollars in sponsoring professional teams.
Many of the top athletes including Patrick Mahomes, Steph Curry, and Tom Brady are investing in companies developing the tech behind it.
This isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Today, I want to highlight a few athletes who are bullish enough to take payments in crypto, whether it be their salary or an endorsement deal.
Pro Athletes Getting Paid in Cryptocurrency
1. Russell Okung
On December 29, 2020 Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung became the first professional athlete to take any part of his salary in cryptocurrency.
Okung negotiated with the Panthers to take half of his $13 million contract in Bitcoin.
Since then, we have seen an array of other athletes follow suit.
2. Cade Cunningham
Rookie NBA guard Cade Cunningham was the number 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft.
Although he didn’t take any of his salary in crypto, he did on the endorsement side of things.
Upon signing his multi-year sponsorship deal with BlockFi, he decided to take the undisclosed bonus in Bitcoin.
3. Aaron Rodgers
The star quarterback for the Green Bay Packers announced on November 1, 2021 that he would accept some of his salary in Bitcoin.
The deal was brokered by Square, who also owns Cash App.
Rodgers was still in his Halloween costume when the announcement went through, helping the tweet go viral.
4. Saquon Barkley
Giant’s RB Saquon Barkley raised a lot of eyebrows when he said on the Best Business Show that all of his future endorsement deals would be paid in Bitcoin.
Joe Pompliano and The Street reported that Saquon Barkley will be taking $10 million worth of endorsement money via Bitcoin in the short term.
5. Sean Culkin
Chiefs Tight End Sean Culkin made history when he became the first professional athlete to have his entire salary paid in Bitcoin.
His $950,000 salary equated to about 17 Bitcoin when he announced this.
6. Trevor Lawrence
Something about being a number 1 overall draft pick and accepting Crypto as a payment.
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence partnered with Blockfolio and announced he would be placing most of his rookie contract signing bonus into crypto.
7. Odell Beckham
Yesterday, OBJ announced a partnership with Cash App that he will take his entire new salary in Bitcoin.
My only question is…how much cash is Cash App paying OBJ to do this???
Right now, 1 NBA and 6 NFL players are accepting crypto as a payment - Bitcoin.
0 in the MLB and NHL.
I expect that to change sooner rather than later.
Several pro teams including the Dallas Mavericks and Oakland Athletics are accepting ticket payments in Bitcoin.
It’s hard to imagine this will just disappear. Athletes are getting smarter with their money and crypto is a great way to diversify.
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