Bitcoin and sports help drive adoption among fans

Bitcoin and sports help drive adoption among fans

December 9, 2014 | +Mala Mukunda

Bitcoin breaks into sports

Bitcoin has come quite a long way towards entering the mainstream in 2014. Popular merchants like Overstock, DISH TV and Expedia have opened up to the currency and the media interest generated by their willingness to accept bitcoin has sparked interest in more businesses to consider it as a payment option. Going beyond eCommerce, bitcoin has now entered the sports arena in a big way. Not only through stadium ticket sales but sports paraphernalia and hotdog stands as well. ‘Bitcoin accepted’ signs are a regular sighting packed stadiums.
Bitcoin, basketball and soccer

Popular NBA franchise Sacramento Kings announced they would be accepting bitcoins early this year. Team owner Vivek Ranadivé made the move towards selling Kings merchandise for the digital currency, in line with his business philosophy ‘NBA 3.0,’ centering on technology and globalization.

In May this year, the San Jose Earthquakes became the first professional soccer team to accept bitcoin payments in Buck Shaw stadium, Santa Clara. Bitcoin payments were accepted at the ticket gate, merchandise store and the concession stand.
Olympics, Brazil and charity

The Bitcoin community came together earlier this year to support Brazilian star gymnast Lais Souza in meeting her medical bills. Lais Souza is a two-time Olympic gymnast who crashed into a tree while skiing in Utah. She is recovering in Miami and hoping to fly home for Christmas.
Bitcoin and football

Bitcoin is catching on in the student community in many states. Georgia Tech issued ‘Buzzcards’ to its students who can use it to spend bitcoins on food, parking and sports events on campus. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently made history by giving $100 of Bitcoin to every one of its 4,528 undergraduate students this fall.

Bitcoin is set to garner even more attention among sports fans this year at the St. Petersburg Bowl, the annual postseason championship game played in Florida. Bitcoin is featured prominently as a payment option by leading Bitcoin payment processor BitPay. The event has been rechristened as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl and the sponsorship is said to have been paid entirely in bitcoins.
Bitcoin and tourism

The excitement has spread to local merchants in Madeira Beach and the greater Tampa Bay area where more than a hundred businesses have expressed interest in accepting bitcoins after they were presented with the benefits of offering this payment option – negligible processing fees, protection against chargebacks, and appeal to a dominantly mobile and global customer user base.

Madeira Beach city in Florida has become the world’s first municipality to adopt Bitcoin, according to a press release from Bitpay. “The city of Madeira Beach is opening its arms to the global bitcoin community,” said City Manager Shane Crawford. “We want bitcoin users to know that they can pay for their entire vacation with bitcoin here.”

“We hope that other cities follow Madeira Beach’s example in supporting the growth of bitcoin,” said BitPay Executive Chairman Tony Gallippi. “For cities that attract international visitors, accepting bitcoin is a great way to boost sales.”

Bitcoin and sports will drive adoption

Making Bitcoin payments available at sports events is a crucial step in familiarizing the youth and the student community with digital currencies. Easier ticket sales and increased ad revenues using bitcoins will be a scoring factor for more franchises to adopt this system.

These events generate enormous amount of publicity via media coverage. The growing number of sponsors shows that they have been quick to recognize the prospect of channeling this publicity towards providing the public with information regarding the benefits of alternate payment options.

Leave a Reply