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Washington Nationals Latest Pro Sports Team to Strike Crypto Deal

Terra partners with the Washington Nationals; Crypto.com named title sponsor of May Formula One race in Miami.

As all eyes are on crypto advertisements slated for the Super Bowl, more players in the space are looking toward other sports to build brand awareness.

The Washington Nationals will partner with Terra, the Major League Baseball team said Wednesday — in what the team billed as the first deal between a DAO and a sports franchise.

It’s a boon for the Terra Community Pool, one of crypto’s largest DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations). The Terra blockchain deploys algorithmic, decentralized stablecoins that underpin its ecosystem.

As part of the deal, the club space behind home plate will be renamed the Terra Club. In addition to other in-stadium signage, Terra will sponsor a five-part digital series that airs on the Nationals’ social media platforms. Terra’s LUNA coin is the 10th-largest, according to CoinGecko, with a market capitalization of roughly $23 billion.

Stablecoin TerraUSD (UST) could be accepted as a payment method at Nationals Park next season, the team added. A Terra spokesperson did not return a request for further comment.

Terraform Labs Founder Do Kwon had urged the Terra community to pay $38.15 million to a then-unnamed sports franchise in a Jan. 31 proposal. The money would cover $7.5 million of annual fees for five years and $650,000 to cover construction, renovation and redesign costs.

“By approving this sponsorship deal, the community has a new way to engage and educate the public, including the policy makers doing important work in Washington, D.C., about decentralized money and the burgeoning technology that underlies it,” Kwon said in a statement. 

The deal is the latest in a string of partnerships between crypto companies and professional sports teams. Software platform and decentralized infrastructure provider Ankr made a deal with the NBA’s Sacramento Kings in October, while Voyager Digital partnered with the Dallas Mavericks later that month.

Crypto exchange FTX partnered with Major League Baseball last year, which resulted in the league’s umpires adorning their uniforms with an FTX patch.

Terra’s deal came the same day Crypto.com said it would sponsor what will be known as the Formula One Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix in May. A Crypto.com spokesperson declined to disclose the cost.

Crypto.com capped off a marketing-heavy 2021 by purchasing the naming rights to the former Staples Center in Los Angeles as part of a 20-year, $700 million deal. Before that, the firm became the first cryptocurrency sponsor of F1 in a reported $100 million deal.

The company’s chief marketing officer previously told Blockworks that reaching “Super Bowl-size” audiences through F1 is even more important amid a fractured media landscape that has people watching content at different times.

The crypto platform is set to run an advertisement during the Super Bowl. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment further.