Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Crypto dollars boost NBA's sponsorship fees to $1.64B

Tim Baysinger
Jun 2, 2022
Data: IEG; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

A wave of sponsorship dollars from crypto companies nearly tripled the NBA's growth in rights fees from sponsors this season, according to data from IEG.

Why it matters: The crypto influx has been a boon for the league. The NBA's sponsorship fees rose more than 12% this season, after a few years of 5% growth. Crypto is now the league's second-biggest sponsor, behind technology.

In terms of sponsorship dollars, the NBA's $1.64 billion is second only to the NFL, which amassed $1.81 billion for its most recent season. Major League Baseball is in third with $1.13 billion for last season.

By the numbers: The NBA's crypto sponsorship went from $1.75 million in 2020-21 to $130 million in 2021-22.

  • Five cryptocurrency brands — Crypto.com, Webull, Coinbase, FTX and Socios — are responsible for 92% of the sponsorship category spending.

What they're saying: "The cryptocurrency category's sponsorship spending spree is like nothing we have ever seen before, representing 1/3 of all new NBA sponsorship deals," said Peter Laatz, IEG's global managing director, in a statement.

Go deeper