Tuesday October 3, 2023

Sports Deals Face Uncertainty After Crypto Platform’s Bankruptcy

  • Cryptocurrency platform Voyager has filed for bankruptcy.
  • Voyager has one of the NWSL's largest deals in the league's history.
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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A number of sports deals are in limbo after cryptocurrency platform Voyager Digital filed for bankruptcy.

Voyager says “prolonged volatility and contagion” forced the Chapter 11 filing. According to the filing, Voyager estimates it had more than 100,000 creditors and between $1 billion and $10 billion in assets, with an equal amount of liabilities.

Last week, Voyager suspended all withdrawals and trading.

Voyager had announced an agreement in December with the NWSL — one of the league’s largest in history — in which the players were to receive a portion of the deal in cryptocurrency and financial education on cryptocurrencies. 

The NWSL isn’t Voyager’s only tie to sports.

  • Voyager paid one bitcoin in April 2021 — around $60,000 at the time — to the Oakland A’s for a full-season suite-ticket package. Bitcoin is now trading at roughly $20,000.
  • Six months after announcing its A’s deal, Voyager became an international partner of the Dallas Mavericks.
  • Former NFL player Rob Gronkowski announced a marketing deal with Voyager last fall, NASCAR driver Landon Cassill extended his Voyager partnership in December, and NBA Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady and NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk serve as advisors.

Crypto Crash

Voyager isn’t the first crypto platform whose misfortunes have affected the sports industry. Despite the complete collapse of Terra’s crypto “stablecoin,” MLB’s Washington Nationals continue to promote its Terra Club. Also, FTX backed out of a jersey patch deal with the Los Angeles Angels.

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