In The Shadow Of Ben Simmons, Philly Secures The Crypto Bag

Image Credit Philadelphia 76ers Twitter

The Philadelphia 76ers are still dealing with the Ben Simmons saga. However, they haven’t stopped figuring out how to upgrade their war chest.

The NBA is in the age of jersey branding like NASCAR uniforms, and the Sixers have aligned with a significant partner. Crypto.com is now the next brand partner with the organization. The partnership is also Crypto.com’s first in the NBA.

The Big Reveal

The Crypto.com logo will now appear on the team’s jerseys. In addition, there will be other exposure opportunities during the partnership within the Wells Fargo Center during the season.

The patch debuts on the player’s uniforms during the preseason, starting when the 76ers face the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 4.

“We are thrilled to launch a long-term partnership with such a progressive team at Crypto.com, a company that shares our drive for greatness,” said Chris Heck, Sixers president of business operations.

“Crypto.com will be woven into the fabric of our identity, and together, we will change the landscape for how crypto is integrated in sports.”

Sixers Step Into The Digital Future

Crypto.com is a fast-growing crypto platform claiming more than 10 million users worldwide. The app, founded in 2016 it is among the world’s top platforms for exchanging non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The Sixers’ new uniform sponsorship deal replaces StubHub. Since the NBA began allowing advertising logos on teams’ uniforms during the 2017-2018 season, the online ticket seller was the Sixers’ jersey sponsor.

After changing ticket platforms from StubHub to TicketMaster, the Sixers patch sponsor needed to obviously be replaced.

In addition, all four versions of the Sixers uniform this season will feature the Crypto.com patch on the jersey’s left shoulder.

“We’re extremely excited to announce our partnership with the 76ers,” said Kris Marszalek, co-founder and CEO of Crypto.com. “The NBA is one of the most popular leagues in the world, and the 76ers were an obvious choice. Together we’re going to create integrated experiences for fans everywhere; our patch and court integrations are just the beginning.”

Why Big Tech?

Crypto.com has an extensive portfolio of sports partnerships. They include a broad range of sports brands like UFC, Formula 1, National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens, and Paris Saint-Germain, French professional soccer team.

The Sixers made history in 2016 when they became the first significant professional sports team to announce a jersey patch sponsorship in the U.S.

Excitingly, the Sixers will unveil their new City Edition uniform in November. According to the team, the reveal will “commemorate an iconic time in 76ers history.” This also coincides with a series of NFTs that will be available on Crypto.com.

The Simmons Factor

So how does all this fit in with the current status of the Sixers roster and its reluctant star player, Ben Simmons?

It doesn’t.

The deal for a new patch sponsor was already being worked on separately apart from Simmons’s angst with the organization.

However, it should send a flag to Simmons that they care about their bottom line and moving the ball up the court, even in the back office.

By trailblazing the jersey patch sponsorship, the Sixers have permanently changed professional basketball. Now they will look to keep that same energy on the court.

So will we see a Ben Simmons Sixers branded NFT? Only time will tell.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.