Technology

NFL teams granted permission for blockchain sponsorships

The NFL granted its teams permission to seek blockchain sponsorships, but will still restrict promotions using cryptocurrency and fan tokens.

In a memo sent on Tuesday, the league said it made the decision to allow “promotional relationships” with businesses after it completed its evaluation of the new wave of technology. 

The has lobbied the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), White House and Justice Department on issues related to blockchain technology over the past year, according to CNBC. 

“In this evolving regulatory environment, it remains essential that we proceed carefully when evaluating potential commercial opportunities involving blockchain technologies, and conduct appropriate diligence on all potential partners and their business models,” the league memo said.

“League staff has also continued to closely monitor the evolving blockchain regulatory environment and key developments, such as President Biden’s recent executive order calling for federal agencies to coordinate efforts in assessing blockchain digital asset regulation and oversight, with a focus on consumer protection and rooting out illegal activity,” it added. 

The league will still specifically prohibit its teams from using cryptocurrency or fan tokens in exchange for merchandise and experiences, according to the memo.

The news comes ahead of the league’s upcoming owner’s meeting, where league officials plan to share business initiatives such as revising its blockchain guidelines. 

League stars such as Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski have already capitalized on the blockchain NFT business. 

The NFL’s head of consumer products, Joe Ruggerio, told CNBC that deals between teams and blockchain companies will not last longer than three years, allowing for future flexibility. 

“We’re extremely bullish on blockchain technology,” Ruggiero said. “We think that it has a lot of potential to really shape innovation, shape fan engagement over the course of the coming decade.”

Tags Cryptocurrencies Joe Biden NFL NFL Tom Brady
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