23 Jul 2021 11:39 AM +00:00

Watford FC Shirt Sponsor Will Pay For 'Club-Record' Partnership In Cryptocurrency

Recently-promoted Premier League side Watford FC will receive their multi-year sponsorship payments in cryptocurrency.

The football club's new shirt sponsor for the 2021/22 season is Stake.com, a betting and crypto casino website.

This will not be Watford's first venture into cryptocurrency-based sponsorships. Its previous sponsorship with Sportbetting.io saw the club's shirt display a bitcoin logo on the sleeve.

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According to The Athletic, the sponsorship will see Watford earn upwards of an initial £5 million. Further payments towards a "club-record deal" will depend on performance such as, crucially, whether Watford manages to remain in the Premier League for the 2022/23 season.

However, neither the club nor Stake.com has disclosed the details of the agreement, nor the cryptocurrency in which the payment will be made.

The announcement has come amid growing criticism and scrutiny over the prevalence of gambling-based shirt sponsorships in football.

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As stated in their announcement, the partnership will see Stake launch "crypto-themed initiatives, including a 10 million Dogecoin giveaway" on their platforms.

"The past few years have seen consistent growth for Stake and this partnership with Watford marks the next chapter for our company," said Mark Vuckovic, the Stake.co.uk CEO. "We could not be more thrilled to partner with a club that has such immense history yet still a true innovative spirit."

Stake.com accounts for 5% of all bitcoin transactions worldwide, according to the company. The site currently cannot accept users registered in the US or the UK, but will soon be available as Stake.co.uk through a deal with Aspire Global, using its Watford sponsorship to drive further awareness.

Watford is not the only Premier League club to strike a crypto-based deal for the 2021/22 season. Arsenal recently announced it would partner up with Chilliz to release its own $AFC Fan Token via the Socios platform.

This follows on from a line of European and South American clubs also releasing Fan Tokens via Socios. Manchester City, PSG, FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus, and many other top-flight clubs are among those partnered.

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