According to an announcement made on 26 December 2018, the Litecoin Foundation will be the ‘Official Cryptocurrency Partner’ for an event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) mixed martial arts organization.
The event, called UFC 232, is a rematch between Alexander Gustafsson and former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones scheduled on 29 December 2018. The sponsorship deal will have the Litecoin logo shown on the octagonal fighting canvas during the match.
Charlie Lee, former engineering director of Coinbase and managing director of Litecoin Foundation, released Litecoin (LTC) back in 2011 which is a proof-of-work cryptocurrency. The currency only had a limited supply of 84,000,000 LTC and its network is developed by the foundation. However, the currency is not managed centrally by the foundation, and is decentralised just like all other blockchain-based currencies.
The foundation, claiming to be the first crypto-related sponsor for a UFC event, stated that the move aims to promote the adoption of cryptocurrencies, saying that the technology is progressing towards “the mainstream” as more brands and firms involve themselves with blockchain and crypto. The foundation further elaborated that the huge crowd that watches the UFC match would be exposed and potentially attracted to the world of crypto through the sponsorship.
It is considered a wise move to gain support for crypto through the sports industry, seeing how major the industry is across the world. According to the Business Research Company, a market research and intelligence firm, the global sports market priced around $557 billion in 2017, with North America being the greatest region with 33% of the market share. Getting financial support from the high-valued market would boost crypto’s declining performance.
In truth, there has been multiple cases where digital currencies have been utilised in the world of sports. In September, the French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) partnered with a blockchain platform called Socios.com to create a token ecosystem which allowed the club to offer Fan Token Offerings (FTOs). In December, a fan token called GalaCoin was launched by Brazilian premier league soccer club Atletico Mineiro used to buy tickets, club merch or obtain discounts.
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