English top-flight soccer outfit Watford have expanded their partnership with Sportsbet.io, the multicurrency sports betting firm, in a move that places Bitcoin branding on the sleeve of the club’s playing shirts.
The redrawn contract will also allow supporters to buy official club merchandise and products using the cryptocurrency. The initial deal between Watford and Sportsbet.io was signed in June this year, which saw the company replace online broker FxPro on the front of the Premier League team’s home and away shirts.
Watford are now the first club in England to use Bitcoin for purchasing merchandise, with a view to potentially becoming an onsite currency to be used on match days, according to the Coingaming Group, owners of the Sportsbet.io brand. In 2018, Scottish soccer’s Ayr United announced they would be taking Bitcoin Cash as part of their shirt sponsorship deal.
Justin Le Brocque, head of Sportsbet.io marketing, revealed that the partnership will be crowd-funded, allowing anyone who holds Bitcoin the opportunity to share in sponsor perks. Contributors can bid for public LED space shown live during matches, use of the Bitcoin box for eight people and merchandise via a dedicated online platform.
“Our partnership with Watford marks a major disruption in the world of traditional sports sponsorship, and by adding the Bitcoin logo we hope this world’s first partnership will create even more buzz around cryptocurrencies,” said Le Brocque.
Scott Duxbury, Watford’s chairman and chief executive, added: “Placing the Bitcoin logo on a Premier League shirt is something that challenges the accepted norm. We’re excited about the partnerships and the potential for new global conversations that it could help start for our club.”
Watford have announced the Bitcoin logo will appear on the team’s shirt from their next game against Arsenal on 15th September.
More Premier League sides have been embracing cryptocurrency of late, with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Newcastle United trialling it for player transfers.