24 Jun 2022

By: Sport Industry Group

Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has signed a sponsorship deal with US crypto exchange Binance.

In doing so, the 37-year-old becomes the latest high-profile athlete to commit to a lucrative partnership with a digital asset firm, despite growing criticism around the sector.

Under terms of the agreement, the Portugal national team captain will launch a global campaign aimed at providing his fans with an introduction to Web3 technology in and providing entry point into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Ronaldo will create a series of collections for sale exclusively on the Binance NFT platform. The first collection will be released later this year and will feature designs created in collaboration with the player.

Football, and specifically Premier League, has begun entering the crypto space in the past year, despite controversy surrounding the promotion of crypto to football’s young and impressionable fans.

A number of high-profile current and former players, including Paul Pogba, Neymar and Mbappe have signed endorsement deals in the past rival. In March 2022, Ronaldo’s great rival, Lionel Messi, became a global brand ambassador for crypto fan token company Socios.

Similarly, many clubs have agreed deals with blockchain firms in the past 12 months. Amongst them, Arsenal, Everton and Ronaldo’s current team, Manchester United, who struck a deal with blockchain group Tezo in February 2022.

The announcement of Ronaldo’s deal with Binance comes at a time when the price of Bitcoin has fallen more than 70% from its peak last autumn, triggering a crisis for some of the digital asset industry’s largest traders and lenders, raising further questions around crypto advertising in sport.

On agreeing the new deal with Binance, five-time Ballon D’Or winner, Ronaldo, said, “My relationship with the fans is very important to me, so the idea of bringing unprecedented experiences and access through this NFT platform is something that I wanted to be a part of. I know the fans are going to enjoy the collection as much as I do.” 

Binance founder and CEO, Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, added, “Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world’s best footballers and has transcended sport to become an icon in multiple industries.

“He has amassed one of the world’s most dedicated fan bases through his authenticity, talent, and charity work.

“We are thrilled to provide his fans with exclusive engagement opportunities to connect with Ronaldo and own a piece of iconic sports history.”


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