Premier League soccer club Southampton has partnered with crypto-currency betting site Sportsbet.io. The new project will give Southampton fans the chance to take part in a match-fixing experience using virtual reality headsets during the COVID 19 shutdown, while influencers would be paid bitcoin (BTC) amounts to create unique VR adventures.
Sportsbet.io became the main partner of Southampton FC at the start of the 2020-2021 season and the British betting site now wants to exploit the rights to matches in the virtual space. Sportsbet.io also signed a three-year partnership with Arsenal earlier this season, becoming the official betting partner of the club.
The gambling site has accepted deposits at various times in the form of bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), XRP, Tron TRX), Tether (USDT), etc.
Tim Heath, founder of Coingaming Group, which operates Sportsbet, said he foresees the development of a relationship between football and cryptocurrencies.
We believe cryptocurrencies have a bright future in football and fully support them. In addition to similar fan experiences, we have just seen the first bitcoin transfer where a footballer was bought with cryptocurrencies and signed with DUX Internacional from Madrid, and earlier this year NFL pro footballer Russell Okung said he will be paid in bitcoin, Heath said, adding: We’re likely to see more of this, whether it’s clubs finding new ways to engage with fans on match days or events happening at the top of the game.
The link between cryptocurrencies and football has blossomed in recent years. Sportsbet has also signed sponsorship deals with Championship club Watford FC and Brazilian club Flamengo.
Players also launched their own cryptocurrency tokens in 2020, while the biggest clubs have been involved in blockchain or crypto to a greater or lesser extent. These include German football giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, as well as traditional Italian club S.S. Lazio and Spanish titans FC Barcelona.
David Thomas, commercial director of Southampton FC, said the club was delighted to be involved in an ongoing process that could upset the status quo.
As a club, we have always tried to redefine the status quo of content with our digital approach, and we were excited about the shared values between ourselves and the Sportsbet.io team, he said.
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