It didn’t take much of a connection with the stars to figure out that the whole crypto thing was a bubble that was going to burst. You tend to know when rich assholes are pushing bullshit on those with not much money so the former can take what little the latter have left that something’s afoot. Considering how in bed sports immediately got with crypto, it was never going to escape unscathed.
The hope, of course, was that some billionaire owner would take a bath or maybe some outspoken asshole athlete. We’ve seen Odell Beckham make like 18 cents on his season in 2021, though Beckham isn’t someone you’d pick as deserving of financial karma. These guys make their own choices and sometimes they don’t end well. Beckham’s made enough in the past to get by.
The first sport to take a hit, sadly, was the NWSL. The league had struck a deal with Voyager Digital before this season, and then watched the company go belly up. Half the deal was supposed to be paid in crypto to the players of the league in their own accounts. That’s the money the league and players won’t get, but they got the real money for this season. The bankruptcy settlement will probably see those personal accounts go unfilled, and the rest of the years on the agreement go poof. Hopefully, no players were really counting on that crypto cash for anything.
The NWSL should be fine, as they can always find a new sponsor for next season and beyond — and there should be even more of a line after the World Cup again in 2023. While it’s not the first domino, it certainly won’t be the last. It should also be a warning to the more burgeoning leagues around the world, specifically the WSL, which should see a boost of companies wanting to attach their name in the wake of England’s triumph in Euro 2022. Neither the NWSL nor WSL is quite in a position where every dollar or pound doesn’t count, especially ones that disappear into the bankruptcy and charlatan ether.