FIFA’s blockchain partnership is the first US-based sponsor for 11 years
The football association FIFA has announced the Algorand blockchain as their first US-based sponsor for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. They term the deal as a technical partnership, as Algorand will help FIFA to develop a digital assets strategy, and potentially market football-related NFTs.
- Algorand has entered into a technical partnership with FIFA for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar
- In March 2022 FIFA announced a 2022 tournament deal with Singapore-based crypto.com
- Tinyman and Yieldly Finance are among the most popular applications on the Algorand blockchain
- Leading DeFi platform Algofi on Algorand has $104 million TVL
FIFA has had a somewhat torrid time over the last ten years. First, corruption and match-fixing allegations culminated in the organization’s President Seth Blatter being charged with fraud, mismanagement, misappropriation of FIFA funds, and forgery of a document. While his colleague Michel Platini was accused of fraud, misappropriation, forgery, and as an accomplice to Blatter’s alleged mismanagement.
In the aftermath, FIFA has struggled to land any high-profile US-based sponsors to complement long-standing deals with Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Visa, and Mcdonald’s. Until recently, FIFA signed almost all of its sponsors for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments with businesses from host countries, Russia, Qatar, and China.
FIFA turns to tech
In March this year, FIFA began targeting the tech sector and announced a 2022 tournament deal with the widely used cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com, which has become a prominent sponsor of sporting events and teams. The deal also covers the 2023 Women’s World Cup being hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Football is no stranger to crypto and blockchain partnerships with numerous high-profile teams in the UK and globally backed by blockchain organizations. Moreover, Crypto.com sees football as a route to mass adoption as FIFA estimates that a staggering 265 million people – men and women – play football worldwide, and 3.5 billion consider themselves football fans. At the same time, more than 328 million people watched the 2021 European Championships final game between Italy and England. That’s a lot of eyeballs on any sponsor.
Manchester United signed a multi-year deal with the Tezos blockchain at the start of 2022, with Tezos shelling out north of $27 million annually, according to The Athletic. More recently, Liverpool Football Club has explored the idea of a crypto sponsor as their current sponsorship contract comes to an end.
The deal is a technical partnership, and Algorand will help FIFA develop a digital assets strategy and potentially market football-related NFTs. Algorand’s low transaction fees, near-instant transaction finality, and decentralization by design ensure a frictionless and accessible NFT experience for buyers and sellers.
The scope is endless and theoretical ideas could include an Association style NFT collection of tournament footballers, where player stats improve throughout the tournament based on their performance. While the idea of football, especially big tournament ‘moments’, has been discussed before and delivered by NBA Top Shot in the basketball world.
What is Algorand?
Algorand is a blockchain designed to facilitate the future of finance and the development of dapps. Algorand blockchain uses a Pure Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, often abbreviated as PPOS. Algorand is the brainchild of Turing Award-winning cryptographer Silvio Micali from MIT. In addition, the Algorand Foundation supports the development of Algorand.
Developers can also quickly launch tokens with a variety of use cases. Think about stablecoins, governance tokens, utility tokens, NFTs, and even governance-issued digital fiat. The Marshall Islands is one of the first countries to issue their national crypto token, and this SOV token exists on Algorand.
Looking at Algorand from a financial perspective, its native ALGO token has a market capitalization of $4.9 billion with a 24-hour trading volume of $473,667,563. It has increased in value by more than 22% in the last 24 hours at writing. It is most likely caused by news and media mentions relating to its sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup in 2026.
The Algorand dapp ecosystem caters mainly to decentralized finance applications, which have helped it capture almost $180 million in total value locked across its smart contracts. Nonetheless, it is perfectly positioned to offer developers an option to mint NFTs in a carbon-friendly, low-cost manner. Compared to other blockchains, the transaction cost of minting an NFT on Algorand can be as low as 0.001 ALGO due to the innovative PPoS algorithm. With the same capabilities as other popular chains, Algorand allows users to tokenize a high volume of NFTs without the harsh environmental impact and high network fees.
A problem we saw live just a few days ago as the Yuga Labs Otherside metaverse NFT land drop almost killed Ethereum and pushed gas fees to record amounts, touching thousands of dollars for a simple transaction at their highest point. Any mass appeal NFT project intended to be put into the hands of millions of fans couldn’t cope with these issues. Furthermore, while FIFA may want to explore NFTs, there are countless hurdles to leap before handing them out to uneducated spectators. This is potentially where Algorand can have its most significant impact.
The above does not constitute investment advice. The information given here is purely for informational purposes only. Please exercise due diligence and do your research. The writer holds positions in various cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, and RADAR.