Premier League football club Southampton FC has partnered with cryptocurrency betting website Sportsbet.io. The new project offers Southampton fans the ability to enjoy the game day experience through virtual reality headsets during the COVID-19 lockdown, while influencers are reportedly being granted Bitcoin (BTC) amounts to create unique VR experiences.
Sportsbet.io became the main club partner of Southampton FC at the beginning of the 2020-2021 season, and the UK-based betting website is now looking to use its game day rights in the virtual space. Sportsbet.io signed a three-year partnership with Arsenal at the beginning of the season, making it the club’s official betting partner.
The betting website has accepted deposits in the form of Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), XRP, Tron TRX), Tether (USDT) and more at various times.
Tim Heath, founder of the Coingaming Group, which runs Sportsbet, said he had foreseen a growing relationship between football and cryptocurrency.
“We believe that cryptocurrency has a great future in football and we are right behind it.” In addition to such fan experiences, we have just seen the first Bitcoin transfer in which a footballer was bought with cryptocurrency and signed for DUX Internacional de Madrid. Earlier this year, NFL professional footballer Russell Okung said he was getting his salary in Bitcoin. Heath added, “We’re likely to see more of this – from clubs finding new ways to connect with fans on a match day to the way business is done at the top of the game. “
The connection between cryptocurrency and football has evolved over the past few years. Sportsbet has also signed sponsorship deals with the championship team Watford FC and the big Brazilian team Flamengo.
In 2020, footballers also launched their own cryptocurrency tokens, while more large clubs got into blockchain or crypto in some way. These include the German football giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund as well as the historic Italian club S.S Lazio and the Spanish Titane FC Barcelona.
David Thomas, Southampton FC’s commercial director, said the club is thrilled to be part of an ongoing process that could shake up the status quo.
“As a club, our digital approach has always tried to redefine the status quo of content and we were excited about the shared values between us and the Sportsbet.io team,” he said.