Southampton announced on Thursday morning that they had agreed a new three-year deal with Coingaming Group to keep Sportsbet.io as their main shirt sponsor.
Saints had to work quickly ahead of the 2020/21 season to find another shirt sponsor after a breakdown in their deal with Chinese firm LD Sports, and Sportsbet.io have been on their shirts since the start of this campaign.
The club’s statement today confirmed that this new deal is the biggest in the club’s history and will intriguingly involve Bitcoin.
Via the statement, Saints will have access to “performance-based bonuses” in Bitcoin at the end of each season and they will be one of the first clubs to actively work with Cryptocurrency if they take these bonuses.
Southampton test the Cryptocurrency water
It is important to understand that there is no actual agreement for Saints to take on any Bitcoin value, but they certainly look to be testing the water.
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Saints’ statement mentioned that the club will take advantage of the bonuses in the deal “if it feels it will bring significant future benefits”.
Overall, there is still scepticism over the use of Cryptocurrencies. Given how the pandemic has hit the finances of clubs like Saints though, it makes sense to investigate other avenues that may pay off in the future.
At the time of writing, one Bitcoin holds the value of just under £42,500. Perhaps Saints see themselves stealing a march on other clubs by pursuing opportunities early.
Looking at the deal overall, it looks a strong one on paper – even if fans will be disappointed at the involvement with a betting firm.
According to the Athletic’s Dan Sheldon, Sportsbet.io will be paying the club more than the £7.5m that LD Sports had committed to per season.
This is crucial and provides a solid base of funds to work with. The numbers involved are certainly not record-breaking when compared to bigger Premier League clubs but mark another step of progression for Saints as they build towards the next two to three seasons.