AC Milan expands sponsorship deal with crypto exchange BitMEX

abdelaziz Fathi

Italian soccer club AC Milan, wildly known as the Rossoneri, has extended its sponsorship agreement with cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMEX that became the team’s first jersey sleeve sponsor in 2021.

This extended agreement now designates BitMEX as AC Milan’s premium partner, in addition to holding the title of the team’s official cryptocurrency trading partner since 2021. BitMex is also the first sleeve sponsor of AC Milan’s eSports team, AQM.

The BitMex logo will appear on the sleeves of both the men’s and the women’s kits in all competitions, including the UEFA Champions League.

BitMEX was reportedly paying €5 million annually for its initial sponsorship of AC Milan. However, the specific terms of the new extended deal have not been disclosed.

Last year, the Italian Serie A club and BitMEX made headlines by releasing the club’s first-ever Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collection. This collaboration, done in partnership with the design studio Fansea, allowed fans to purchase NFTs featuring a captivating 3D image of AC Milan’s jersey.

Each NFT was priced at €45, and the proceeds from the sales were donated to Fondazione Milan, the club’s charitable arm, which supports various causes, including humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and UNICEF’s initiatives in South Sudan.

“We are happy to continue our journey alongside a partner such as BitMEX, with whom we intend to take further steps forward in the path of [digitization], innovation and growth of the club, but also to support the many charitable initiatives promoted by Fondazione Milan,” AC Milan Chief Revenue Officer Casper Stylsvig said in a statement.

The deal marked BitMex’s first sponsorship deal in football and esports as the exchange looked to expand brand awareness beyond the digital asset domain. The collaboration offers the international Rossoneri fanbase access to a broader range of crypto services and products. Part of the sponsorship package, eligible AC Milan fans gain access to exclusive offers as both parties explore ways to engage fans.

The cryptocurrency sector has been a popular category for sponsorship in Italian soccer, as reflected by top Serie A club Juventus signing a deal with Bitget in 2021.

Despite the popularity of cryptocurrency sponsorships, some deals have faced challenges amid the downturn in the crypto market. For instance, Italian clubs AS Roma and Inter Milan terminated their sleeve sponsorships with DigitalBits as the blockchain company defaulted on its payments.

Elsewhere, rival exchange OKX recently expanded its sponsorship with English club Manchester City.

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