This week kicked off with massive news in the world of sports and crypto. Some of the biggest names in both categories, Coinbase and the NBA, teamed up for a historic deal that put the sports league firmly in position to have a crypto partner for the first time ever.

As usual, we’re covering the latest in all the action across sports and crypto in ‘The Sports Slice.’ From esports to some of the biggest leagues in traditional stick and ball sports, let’s recap the past week’s action.

The Sports Slice

Miami Heat Season Opener Features NFT’s For Fans

If you’ve gone to a live NBA game, you probably received from free swag. For the Miami Heat’s opener though, it’s more than just a free t-shirt or wristband. Heat fans this week that were in attendance for the home opener received a t-shirt with a QR code that unlocked an FTX Arena NFT. Individuals in a specific section received $500 in crypto as well, according to reports.

The move comes after FTX secured the arena naming rights, after American Airlines had held those rights for many years. FTX has been especially aggressive in the sports rights and partnerships space this year, less than 3 years since the company’s inception.

Michael Bisping: The Latest UFC Star To Dip Their Toes In NFTs

Solana-based NFT platform Blockasset is building it’s roster of athlete-based NFTs. This past week, the marketplace announced Wayne Rooney, and today, announced the second of five total announcements – with UFC legend Mike Bisping. Bisping will pair up with NFT artist Dosbrak to release 10,000 total NFTs.

Coinbase Becomes A First-Of-It’s-Kind Sports Partner For The NBA

The NBA has been fairly crypto-acceptant relative to many sports leagues. While sports leagues like the NFL have put a pause to crypto deals for teams, the NBA has been less hesitant. This past week, the league secured a massive deal with crypto exchange Coinbase.

The deal will give Coinbase access to a bevy of NBA assets, including the WNBA, developmental G-League, 2K League, and USA Basketball. After a number of team-specific crypto deals, including jersey patch sponsorships, the move is the league’s first foray into an established ‘official cryptocurrency partner.’

Expect more leagues to follow suit in due time.

Coinbase was the dominant name in sports and crypto headlines this week, after announcing a historic partnership with the NBA. | Source: NASDAQ: COIN on TradingView.com

A New NFT Marketplace With A Sports Focus

Sports media platform Playermaker is teaming up with NFT platform 2CrazyNFT are forming an established relationship to offer sports NFTs, according to a press release this past week. Playmaker clients include former NBA hoopers like Nate Robinson and Mario Chalmers.

The competition for sports NFT platforms has been increasing at a rapid pace, headlined by platforms like Top Shot, Topps, and Candy DIgital.

DraftKings Pairs With Polygon

Sports gambling and crypto continues to be a hand-in-glove fit. After an initial crypto integration for DraftKings, partnering with Autograph.io for NFT integration, DraftKings has quickly been building out it’s ‘DraftKings Marketplace’ offering for customers.

This past week, DraftKings doubled down on crypto, teaming up with Polygon for custom NFT drops and secondary market sales. Polygon is positioning itself as an excellent Ethereum-alternative for NFTs, in a battleground fight with blockchains like Solana to form a solid second-place position behind Ethereum in dominating the NFT space.

Baseball Legend Willie Mays Celebrates 90th Birthday With NFT Drop

Nifty Gateway will be host to baseball legend Willie Mays NFT collection, presented by Costacos, in support of youth baseball this week. The release, titled “Making Of A Giant,” goes live today with proceeds going towards Mays’ Say Hey Foundation. Check out the full story covered by our team here at Bitcoinist for more details around the release.

More Esports Engagement

Esports and crypto have been a natural fit. It shouldn’t shock anyone who’s familiar with either space, and the emergence of play-to-earn platforms like Axie Infinity show the sheer potential of crossover between both areas.

Prime examples are increasingly frequent: Cardano teamed up with esports firm Rival last month, powerhouse esports tournament organizer ESL Gaming partnered up with Coinbase earlier in the year, and FTX secured a historic naming rights deal with leading esports org TSM as well.

This past week, another esports deal has come to the fold. According to Esports Insider, Swedish esports organization Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP) is securing a multi-year partnership with Zilliqa. The deal will be aimed at enhancing virtual experiences for esports and crypto fans.

Source https://bitcoinist.com/crypto-corner-the-sports-slice-12/