NFL Bans NFTs and Cryptocurrency Sponsorships For Teams

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In Brief
  • According to a recent report, the NFL has banned teams from accepting cryptocurrency sponsors.

  • The rules also bar teams from selling NFTs for the time being.

  • The NFL is the only major sport in the USA to have taken these steps while the rest are accepting crypto with open arms.

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The National Football League (NFL) revealed that teams in the league have no option for NFTs or crypto sponsorship until further notice.

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Despite professional sports and athletes in the United States adopting crypto left and right, the NFL has lagged behind slightly. Now, according to a report front the Athletic, we have more information as to why. 

As it turns out, the league has a set of rules that significantly limit what teams can use cryptocurrency for. The NFT has told teams that they cannot sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or accept any cryptocurrency sponsorships from trading firms. Until the NFL develops an official strategy for crypto and NFTs, the rules remain in place.

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Despite the major NFT craze in the sports world, the NFL continues its historically slow approach towards new ventures. The league was the last major one in the USA to allow gambling and liquor sponsors. 

New league rules

The new rules allow teams collaboration with crypto adjacent companies. However, partnerships with those directly tied to crypto such as exchanges go against the new guidelines.

According to an anonymous team official, “Clubs are prohibited from selling, or otherwise allowing within club controlled media, advertisements for specific cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, other cryptocurrency sales or any other media category as it relates to blockchain, digital asset or as blockchain company, except as outlined in this policy.”

The rules exclude most major companies in the crypto space. Therefore its only a matter of time before NFL teams and crypto companies find their way around the tricky wording.

However the rules make room for sponsorships with “companies whose primary business is providing investment advisory and or fund management services in connection with cryptocurrency, provided that such advertising sponsorship rights are limited to promoting the company’s corporate brands,” according to The Athletic. The NFL also denies the creation and auction of NFTs. This comes as platforms like the NBA’s Top Shot and Sorare are all the rage for the NBA. 

While the rules prohibit teams can’t collaborate with crypto companies or offer NFTs, individuals can. Players like Trevor Lawrence, Sean Culkin, and Russell Okung jumped on board with crypto payments. Lawrence had all of his signing bonus, around $22 million, paid out in Bitcoin. The other two sports stars secured salaries involving crypto.

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Matthew De Saro is a journalist and media personality specializing in sports, gambling, and statistics. Before joining BeInCrypto, his work was featured on Fansided, Forbes, and OutKick. With a background in statistical analysis and a love of writing, he takes an outside-the-box approach to reporting news.

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