English Premier League team Southampton has reportedly signed a deal with Coingaming Group that would let it pay player bonuses in bitcoin.
Bitcoin continues to creep into professional soccer as Southampton Football Club signed a three-year deal with Coingaming Group to be the club’s main partner, which will see Sportsbet.io remain its jersey sponsor, according to a report.
This partnership allows Southampton’s players to receive their yearly performance bonus paid in BTC and is the biggest sponsorship in its club history, per the report.
Let’s put into perspective how bullish this can be for Bitcoin: The Saints’ star striker Danny Ings’ salary makes him about $5.35 million (£3.9 million) per year. If he’s paid a 5 percent bonus, for instance, that would net him about $268,000 (£195,000) in bitcoin.
All 24 players on Southampton’s roster will be eligible to receive bitcoin as their bonus payments. Southampton plays in the English Premier League, which has massive sums of money going to players left, right and center. The potential for these salaries to be paid in bitcoin is extremely bullish, as that would be a significant amount of BTC being taken off the market, and one can only assume that the players who do opt into accepting bitcoin will store it in cold storage.
This was Southampton’s first season with the Sportsbet.io logo on their uniforms, and the CEO of Coingaming Group, which operates Sportsbet.io, Maarja Pärt has been very pleased with the results.
“Our first season as Southampton FC’s main club partner has already exceeded all expectations,” per the report. “We’ve been inspired by the passion of the club and its fans, and it was an easy decision for us to extend our partnership with the Saints for another three years.”
Last year, Watford F.C. had a Bitcoin logo on its jersey sleeves. Now, with this news from Southampton, it’s clear that Premier League clubs have shown that they are open to Bitcoin and it’s only a matter of time before more teams follow suit.
Southampton is leading the way for Premier League teams on the Bitcoin front, and this could potentially bring in lots of income, allowing it to attract more talented players and compete at a higher level. So, the next question is, does Southampton hold bitcoin on its balance sheet?