BlockFi Signs NBA #1 Draft Pick Cade Cunningham As An Ambassador


It’s another impressive integration between the crypto space and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

This week, cryptocurrency lender BlockFi announced a partnership with Cade Cunningham, one of the basketball league’s shining young stars. In a press release, the financial services company explained that Cunningham would help with its outreach and education efforts.

Signing the Young Rook

According to their announcement, Cunningham will collaborate with BlockFi on educational content, giveaways, exclusive interviews, and other initiatives aimed at improving crypto awareness. It continues a long trend of companies using celebrities to boost crypto knowledge.

The move appears to be a solid one for BlockFi. Cunningham has a great deal of buzz around him, being the #1 draft pick from the loaded 2021 class of freshmen. The Detroit Pistons star will undoubtedly have all eyes on him, and an impactful rookie year from him will only boost BlockFi’s brand even more.

Cunningham himself has expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, saying that this will help him achieve his responsible financial management goal. The star would be paid in Bitcoin for his services. He noted:

“I'm excited to partner with BlockFi to really diversify my portfolio and manage my crypto assets, especially as they become more important in personal finance. For me, it's not just about setting up myself for financial success long-term but also to educate future generations on financial wellness.”

BlockFi isn’t the only crypto company looking at young sports talent to grow its brand. Earlier this year, crypto tracking app Blockfolio signed an endorsement deal with Trevor Lawrence, the #1 draft pick from this year’s National Football League (NFL) draft.

Lawrence, who now plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars, will work in an ambassadorial capacity for Blockfolio. Like Cunningham, he will most likely help with the company’s marketing and awareness campaign as well. The star rookie quarterback will also be paid entirely in crypto, although, unlike Cunningham, he chose to spread his earnings across BTC, ETH, and SOL.

NBA and Crypto Get Even Friendlier

The BlockFi deal makes yet another mark on the NBA, which is slowly getting more pro-crypto. For now, only a handful of teams accept cryptocurrencies. But, the league has allowed teams to sign deals with crypto companies.

Last month, the Portland Trail Blazers signed a deal with StormX, a blockchain company that allows users to get crypto rewards by shopping online or completing microtasks. According to an announcement, the Blazers will wear StormX’s logo on their jerseys for the next five years. Additional reports claimed that the deal was in the eight-figure range, with experts estimating jersey patch deals to cost about $10 million annually in the NBA.

Besides the Blazers, the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers have also joined Socios – the blockchain-based fan token platform. Both teams will feature Socios on their websites and social media pages. The platform will also appear on screens at their arenas – the TD Garden and the Wells Fargo Center, respectively.

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