In contrast to mainstream soccer clubs like Barcelona FC, AC Milan, Manchester City and Arsenal, as well as the National Basketball Association, the NFL does not plan to create or sell team-branded tokens in the foreseeable future.
Multiple sources revealed the National Football League told teams last month that crypto trading firms could not sell sponsorships to them.
Teams cannot sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as the league develops a strategy to grow its digital asset and art industries.
In contrast with other leagues, the National Football League has tended to be cautious about beginning new commercial categories, taking its time with gambling and alcohol.
“Clubs are not allowed to handle, or to allow the handling of throughout club-controlled media, advertisements that promote specific cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, other cryptocurrency sales, or any other advertising that pertains to the blockchain, crypto asset or blockchain companies, beyond the guidelines," one team official quoted in the new guidelines said.
Some of the major players in crypto, like FTX, an exchange endorsed by Tom Brady, appear to be excluded from this rule, having signed 19-year, $135 million naming rights contracts for Miami Heat arenas and a 10-year, $210 million deal to change the name of TSM FTX to Team SoloMid Gaming.
As well, the NFL has ruled out team NFTs for the time being. NBA Top Shot, the NBA's trove of NBA Finals Highlights, has been very successful. These digital highlights are marketed as being exclusive to the purchaser.
In addition, the policy allows sponsorships with companies with a primary business of providing investment advisory or fund management services related to Crypto, so long as these ads are limited to promoting their own proprietary brand names.
Among the sports stars who have shown interest in crypto investments are legendary footballer Lionel Messi, tennis star Naomi Osaka, and NFL star Saquon Barkley, who announced on July 15 that he intends to get his endorsement payments in Bitcoin.