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2020 NBA Finals - Game Three

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The National Basketball Association has now entered the crypto game thank to a multiyear deal with the exchange platform Coinbase, as the league celebrates its 75th anniversary. Coinbase announced it will enter into similar partnerships with the WNBA, USA Basketball, the NBA G League, and the NBA 2K League as well.

“The freedom to participate and benefit from the things you believe in is at the heart of Coinbase’s mission.  Nobody believes this more than NBA and WNBA fans. We’re proud to become the Leagues’ official cryptocurrency partner,” said Kate Rouch, Chief Marketing Officer of Coinbase. “As part of the partnership, we will create interactive experiences to engage with the NBA and WNBA’s incredible community and athletes around the world.”

As of this article’s publishing, two NBA teams currently have deals with other crypto platforms; the Portland Trail Blazers signed with the e-commerce site StormX in July, and the Philadelphia 76ers agreed to a reportedly eight-figure partnership with through 2027. Coinbase’s contract with the NBA will be much more expansive, though, as it extends globally and with the NBA’s other affiliated organizations.

Kerry Tatlock, the NBA’s SVP of Global Marketing Partnerships and Media, shared her thoughts on why the agreement will be beneficial for all parties involved. “As a trusted cryptocurrency platform used by millions, Coinbase is a natural fit as the NBA’s first-ever partner in this thriving category,” she said. “We look forward to collaborating with Coinbase to provide fans with new ways to engage with the league and each other, while also enhancing the experience for fans who are already Coinbase users.”

Other sports leagues and organizations have been jumping on the crypto wave as well. The cryptocurrency exchange FTX partnered with Major League Baseball in late June of this year, as well as F1’s Mercedes-Benz racing team in September. In September, Major League Soccer team Inter Miami entered into a multiyear sponsorship deal with the crypto finance company XBTO.

Coinbase will expand its visibility with the WNBA fanbase and be the presenting partner of the league’s Commissioner’s Cup in 2022. The in-season competition is held between all 12 WNBA teams for a prize of $500K.

“Our partnership with Coinbase is representative of the WNBA’s emphasis on innovation as we continue to find opportunities to meet our fans where they are,” said Phil Cook, WNBA Chief Marketing Officer. “As we build off the success of the WNBA’s first 25 seasons, innovating alongside Coinbase will help us explore the future of fan engagement.”