While cryptocurrency promotions and fan tokens remain banned in the National Football League (NFL), the league is now allowing teams to seek limited blockchain sponsorships.
The NFL granted teams limited permission to seek blockchain sponsorships. Permissions are are subject to the NFL’s approval, exclude stadium signage.
The NFL, in a memo issued Tuesday, granted teams limited permission to seek blockchain sponsorships, a partial reversal from late last summer, as the technology grows in popularity among the organization’s fans and athletes.
The decision was made to allow “promotional relationships without undertaking excessive regulator or brand risk” after it completed an evaluation of the technology.
updated team guidelines, which are subject to the NFL’s approval, exclude stadium signage.
Currently restrictions remain in place for specific cryptocurrencies and fan tokens, which can be exchanged for merchandise and experiences.
“Clubs will continue to be prohibited from directly promoting cryptocurrency,” the memo reads.
CNBC had reported in February that the league lobbied the Securities and Exchange Commission on “issues related to blockchain technology” from July through December 2021. The NFL also lobbied the White House and the departments of Justice and Commerce.
“In this evolving regulatory environment, it remains essential that we proceed carefully when evaluating potential commercial opportunities involving blockchain technologies, and conduct appropriate diligence on all potential partners and their business models,” the memo also reads.
Joe Ruggiero, the NFL’s head of consumer products, told CNBC the team deals with blockchain companies will not exceed three years, “so that it gives us flexibility for the long term.” Ruggiero added the NFL could put its official blockchain rights on the marketplace, too.
“We’re extremely bullish on blockchain technology,” Ruggiero said. “We think that it has a lot of potential to really shape innovation, shape fan engagement over the course of the coming decade.”
Disclaimer: We have no position in any of the companies mentioned and have not been compensated for this article.