BLOG | by YouGov Sport

Have cryptocurrencies made a mark among sports fans in Britain? It’s complicated

While British sports fans on the whole show no special inclination towards cryptocurrencies and NFTs, fans of certain leagues are noticeably more charmed.

YouGov Profiles data reveals that under a fifth of all adults in Britain say, “cryptocurrencies are the future of online transactions” (18%), and this share is almost identical among British sports fans (17%).

Similarly, there is no significant difference in the percentage of sports fans (9%) and the overall population (7%) who say they would be willing to give up their bank accounts to use cryptocurrencies instead.

These figures are in stark contrast to those from the US, where not only is the general attitude far more welcoming of cryptocurrencies but there is also a sharp difference in sentiment between sports fans and the general population.

This reflects the widespread acceptance that cryptos and NFTs have achieved in the States, thanks to effective sponsoring by sports stars and teams alike. For example, current NBA athletes have launched NFT collections, and cryptocurrency-linked companies have been among the most lucrative sponsorship categories for the league and teams. The MLB too has inked a long-term partnership with crypto-trading platform FTX. In 2022, the NFL lifted restrictions on teams seeking sponsorships with cryptocurrency platforms.

In Britain, cryptocurrency sponsorships may not be as high profile but they are widespread. An Athletic investigation this summer reveals that 19 out of 20 Premier League clubs have a crypto sponsor of one type or another and crypto brands are also making forays into other sports too.

Perhaps as a result of these deals, cryptocurrencies and NFTs enjoy slightly more favourable sentiment among select sports audiences.

A quarter of Premier League fans in Britain are of the opinion that cryptocurrencies are the future of online financial transactions, making them 41% likelier than all sports fans to say so. Among fans of Premiership Rugby, the proportion of people who believe in a crypto-shaped financial future rises even further to three out of 10 (29%).

And, indeed, fans of the three biggest American leagues (NFL, NBA and MLB) in Britain are still more likely to be welcoming of cryptocurrencies. Nearly two-fifths of them say cryptocurrencies are the future of financial transactions (37%).

If cryptocurrencies and NFT-based companies do decide to invest more heavily into sports partnerships, they might want to consider educative campaigns – ones that shed more light on how these new financial assets work, their use cases, and the underlying technologies (even if some would argue these are hard to find). This is because over seven in ten British sports fans (72%), and a similar proportion of the overall population (74%), say they don’t understand how cryptocurrencies work.

Building consumer adoption of cryptocurrencies will require brands to first build trust, and educating British consumers about the potential of these digital assets might be a critical first step.

Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Great Britain is nationally representative of the population and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

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