Ice Hockey Player World’s First Bitcoin-Paid Athlete
Nikolaj Rosenthal. Make a note of that name. It’s the answer to quiz question of the future, “Who was the first professional athlete to be paid exclusively in cryptocurrency?”
Bitcoin Suisse, the Swiss crypto platform, has agreed a 3 year sponsorship deal with Danish ice hockey team, Rungsted Seier Capital. This is the first deal of its kind and would have seemed impossible before the bitcoin buzz of late 2017.
As part of the deal all players will have the option of receiving their salaries in bitcoin. Leading player Nikolaj Rosenthal has already taken that option.
The “Bitcoin Arena”
From December 27th home games will take on a distinctly crypto-flavour. The team’s ground will be known as “Bitcoin Arena”; at its centre, “a massive 9-meter diameter ice-covered gold & silver bitcoin”. Supporters will have access to newly-installed cryptocurrency ATMs and even the pucks will be decorated to look like the bitcoin logo.
Bitcoin Suisse apparently saw something of themselves, or at least of their favourite cryptocurrency, in the Danish team:
The determination, effort and hard work, which took the Rungsted Seier Capital hockey team from being an outsider to one of the strongest teams in the league is something we can very much identify with from the side of Bitcoin Suisse.”
Though it is not unusual for financial firms to be involved in sports sponsorship, Dutch banking group ING, for instance, is the main sponsor of the Royal Dutch Football Federation, this is the first time a company from the crypto space has sponsored a professional sports team.
Moves like this continue the normalization of cryptocurrencies in public awareness and pave the way for increasingly high profile partnerships. Today Danish ice hockey, tomorrow the English Premier League?