It has been reported that the new venture will give Southampton fans the chance to take in the matchday experience during the COVID-19 lockdown through virtual reality (VR) headsets, while influencers will reportedly be granted sums of Bitcoin (BTC) to create unique VR experiences.
However, Sportsbet.io became the main club partner of Southampton FC at the beginning of the 2020–2021 seasons, and the UK-based betting site now aims to utilize its match day rights in the virtual realm.
Sportsbet.io also signed a three-year partnership with Arsenal at the start of the season, becoming the club’s official betting partner in the process.
Southhampton FC has entered the crypto sphere after a partnership with @Sportsbetio. #Crypto and sports betting seem to be a match made in heaven. Which @premierleague club will be next to jump into crypto? https://t.co/yMJlUD5UX9 — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) February 11, 2021
The report said that the betting site has at various times accepted deposits in the form of Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), XRP, Tron (TRX), Tether (USDT), and more.
Tim Heath, the founder of Coingaming Group, which operates Sportsbet, said that he foresaw a growing relationship emerging between football and cryptocurrency.
“We think cryptocurrency has a big future in football and we’re right behind it. Alongside fan experiences like this, we’ve just seen the first Bitcoin transfer take place where a footballer was purchased using cryptocurrency and signed for DUX Internacional de Madrid, and earlier this year NFL pro footballer Russell Okung said he’s getting his salary in Bitcoin.”
“We’re likely to see more of the same — from clubs finding new ways to engage with fans on a match day to the way business is done at the top of the game.”
Likewise, the connection between cryptocurrency and football blossomed in the past few years. Sportsbet has also formed sponsorship deals with Championship team Watford FC, as well as major Brazilian team side Flamengo.
David Thomas, the Chief Commercial Officer at Southampton FC, said that the club was excited to be part of an ongoing process that could shake up the status quo.
Thus, he said:
“As a club our digital approach has always looked to redefine the content status-quo and we were excited at the shared values between ourselves and the Sportsbet.io team.”