Latin American Crypto Exchange Bitso to Sponsor São Paulo Football Club

The three-year partnership with the team will enable fans to purchase tickets and merchandise with cryptocurrencies.

Jan 7, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 7, 2022 at 3:56 p.m. UTC

Latin American crypto exchange Bitso entered into a three-year sponsorship agreement with the Brazilian soccer team São Paulo Futebol Clube (SPFC), the company announced on Friday.

Under terms of the sponsorship, which will begin this month, Bitso’s logo will appear on São Paulo’s official jersey, and part of the Brazilian club’s Morumbi stadium will be earmarked for a special area named after the crypto exchange, Bitso’s Vice President of Marketing José Molina told CoinDesk.

While crypto companies sponsoring sports teams has become fairly commonplace in Europe and the U.S., Latin America is still largely untapped for marketing tie-ups.

Bitso and São Paulo plan to enable payment by cryptocurrency for tickets and merchandise in six months, said Molina, who did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement.

The company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico and has a total of 3.7 million users, Molina said, adding that Bitso aims to become the biggest crypto exchange in Brazil this year.

Mercado Bitcoin, Brazil’s largest crypto exchange, reached 3.2 million customers in that country last year, Mercado Bitcoin told CoinDesk in a written statement.

Bitso has more than 30 job openings in Brazil with the aim of “growing rapidly,” Molina said. Bitso hired Facebook veteran Vaughan Smith in August 2021 to boost the company’s expansion in Brazil.

In May 2021, Bitso raised $250 million in a Series C funding round at a $2.2 billion valuation, making it the first crypto unicorn (having a value exceeding $1 billion) in Latin America.


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Andrés Engler is a CoinDesk business reporter based in Argentina, where he covers the Latin American crypto ecosystem. He holds no crypto.