In a document released Tuesday, the National Football League in the United States stated that it would relax its ban on crypto-and blockchain-related advertising, marketing, and collaboration agreements for its 32 affiliated sports clubs. Each team is separately owned, but they must follow the same set of standards in order to be associated with the NFL and earn profit-sharing through licensing and broadcast/video streaming agreements.
According to the NFL’s communique to team owners, each team will now be allowed to seek blockchain partnerships, but stadium signage deals – such as crypto.com’s massive $700 million naming rights agreement for the Staples Center last November – and direct promotion of specific cryptocurrencies are explicitly prohibited.
The league’s prior policy, which was an unequivocal prohibition on any type of cryptocurrency sponsorship enforced last August, has now been changed. Because the league was creating its own NFT strategy, the NFL also prohibited teams from advertising or selling their own non-fungible tokens (NFTs) featuring players, coaches, mascots, team logos, venues, and other items. In the run-up to this year’s Super Bowl in Los Angeles, the master strategy includes releasing a series of seven historic commemorative NFTs for sale. Prior to that, the NFL provided gratis virtual commemorative tickets in the form of an NFT to fans who attended select games during the 2021 regular season to try out the technology. During the test period, the NFL distributed over 250,000 free NFTs to fans as a bonus.
Under the new rules, teams can only market NFTs and the firms behind the project, and they can’t use official team brand markings, identifiers, or emblems in the commercials. The NFL stated last year that it had formed an NFT partnership with Dapper Labs and TicketMaster to assist in the development and implementation of the league’s NFT goal.