Top NBA Pick Paid in Bitcoin for BlockFi Sponsorship Deal

Former Oklahoma State star Cade Cunningham's multi-year deal with the crypto lender includes a bitcoin signing bonus.

AccessTimeIconAug 19, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:42 p.m. UTC

Top NBA draft pick Cade Cunningham signed a sponsorship deal with crypto firm BlockFi Thursday that will see the up-and-coming Pistons point guard receive his signing bonus in bitcoin

BlockFi wouldn’t say how much Cunningham’s bitcoin signing bonus was worth. It intends to collaborate with the former Oklahoma State University star on educational and promotional videos through the “multi-year” deal.

The deal continues a trend of top-drafted athletes forging early-career pacts within the digital assets industry – and receiving at least part of their payout in crypto. Trevor Lawrence, the first overall draft pick in in the National Football League, received a mix of bitcoin, ether and solana when he signed an FTX sponsorship in April.

Crypto companies are racing to build brand recognition across global sports. Whether it's a soccer team wearing a dogecoin logo, an umpire emblazoned with FTX or a UFC octagon brought to you by Crypto.com, the big players have mounted an advertising blitz with their bull market gains.


Read more about

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
Three Arrows Paper Trail Leads to Trading Desk Obscured Via Offshore Entities

As Three Arrows Capital collapsed under market pressure, its much-lesser known trading desk, TPS Capital, remained active, sources say. But a complex ownership structure might frustrate creditors' efforts to collect.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
June Was Bitcoin’s Worst Month Ever

Plus, European crypto regulation comes into view.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
What Traders Are Saying About Bitcoin's Biggest Monthly Loss in 11 Years

Poor macroeconomic sentiment, fears of inflation and systemic risks from the crypto market pushed the cryptocurrency below 2017’s highs.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
Three Arrows Capital Files for Bankruptcy in New York Tied to British Virgin Islands Proceeding

A British Virgin Islands court ordered Three Arrows' BVI branch into liquidation earlier this week.

CoinDesk - Unknown