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Spending on NBA crypto sponsorships increased 7300% this season

As you watched the first game of the 2022 NBA Finals last night, you probably noticed a few logos from crypto companies such as Coinbase,, and FTX.

The Axios Pro Media Deals report shows that crypto sponsorship spending in the NBA has grown by more than 7,300% over the last season.

IEG data cited in the report indicates that the NBA's sponsorship dollars increased from $1.75 million to $130 million during the 2020-21 season. A total of 92% of crypto sponsorship dollars are generated by five companies — Coinbase, FTX,, Webull, and fan token platform Socios.

For the latest NBA season, the NBA earned $1.64 billion in sponsorship dollars, second in the U.S. to the NFL at $1.81 billion.

Compared to the previous season, total sponsorship dollars increased from 5% to 12%, according to the report. Crypto industry sponsorships are now the second-largest category behind technology companies in the pro basketball league.

Peter Laatz, IEG Global Managing Director, noted that crypto sponsorship revenue has surged to a level never seen before, contributing one-third of the NBA's new sponsorship deals.

The NBA, the WNBA, the developmental G League, NBA 2K League esports initiative, and USA Basketball were all part of Coinbase's multi-year sponsorship deal announced last October. Also, an early investor in the cryptocurrency exchange is Brooklyn Nets player Kevin Durant.

The company sponsors the Philadelphia 76ers and owns naming rights to the Los Angeles Lakers' arena. It also sponsors the NBA Finals broadcast segments.

FTX sponsors the Miami Heat, the Washington Wizards, and the Golden State Warriors who are in the Finals against the Boston Celtics. Stephen Curry, who is an NFT collector, is also a part of the partnership.

Webull, a cryptocurrency, and financial services firm, sponsors the Nets for $30 million a year, while Socios has marketing and fan engagement deals with 28 of the league's 30 teams.

Dapper Labs' NBA Top Shot was instrumental in bringing NFTs into the mainstream early last year, and it has racked up more than $1 billion in volume to date.

 The league has also recently launched The Association, a separate NFT collection that relies on Ethereum technologies.

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