The San Jose Sharks will accept payment for certain large purchases in cryptocurrency next season, according to team president Jonathan Becher. That includes season tickets, corporate sponsorships, and suite leases at the SAP Arena in San Jose.
It’s the result of a partnership between the Sharks’ parent company, Sharks Sports & Entertainment, and the crypto payments service BitPay.
Through BitPay, the Sharks can accept a range of cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Wrapped Bitcoin, and Dogecoin, as well as five different stablecoins (GUSD, BUSD, DAI, PAX, and USDC). Unlike PayPal, which converts crypto to fiat after each sale, BitPay actually lets merchants receive crypto directly.
On Twitter, Becher wrote that the Sharks are also considering taking crypto for smaller purchases like merchandise and single-game tickets, and that those use cases “will be evaluated over time.”
Initially we’ll accept cryptocurrency for season tickets, suite leases, and partnerships. Other use cases – including single-game tickets, F&B, and merch – will be evaluated over time #SJsharks https://t.co/EobIiv3buo
— Jonathan Becher (@jbecher) June 7, 2021
Similarly, the Oakland A’s, a nearby Major League Baseball team, recently started accepting Bitcoin as payment for suites.
Professional sports teams outside the Bay Area have also been warming up to crypto in recent months after the NBA’s Top Shot NFT market, which sells short video clips attached to tokens on the Flow blockchain, poured gas on the craze for digital collectibles this past winter.
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Thanks to their crypto-friendly owner Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks recently started accepting payment in Dogecoin; the Sacramento Kings now offer a Bitcoin salary option for employees; and cryptocurrency exchange FTX purchased naming rights to the Miami Heat’s arena, opening up future cryptocurrency sponsorships.
Moreover, across professional leagues, players have been partnering with crypto companies to convert their salaries (at least partially) into crypto. Even Tom Brady is a Bitcoin acolyte.
The Sharks are the latest team to take a (pained laugh) bite out of the crypto market—but odds are they won’t be the last.