In a press statement released on 23 June, crypto exchange Binance noted the multi-year partnership seeks to connect soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo to his fans, using Web3 with the use of NFTs as the gateway. Cristiano Ronaldo and Binance will work together to produce several collections with NFTs to sell on the company’s platform under a multi-year agreement, the crypto exchange said, adding that the first collection would become available at the end of the year. As part of the arrangement, crypto exchange Binance and Portuguese soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo will produce a series of NFT collections for sale exclusively on the Binance NFT platform.

The exclusive agreement with Binance can be seen as Binance’s effort to increase its efforts in the NFT market. A partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo, then, could be seen as an effort by the industry behemoth Binance to inject severe value into the BSC and start boosting blockchain’s share of the NFT market. In their bid to gain exposure, crypto companies have been leaning into sports leagues. Crypto companies have depended on sports event partnerships in requests to go mainstream. Souring investor sentiment towards risky assets led to the collapse of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, which has also filtered down into NFTs, which surged in popularity last year.

PancakeSwap, a decentralised exchange by industry titan Binance and one of its top protocols, ranks 20th among the NFT markets, with a total trade volume of just $79M (Ethereum markets like OpenSea and LooksRare, which are worth $31.24B and $23.23B, respectively). 

Former Dallas Cowboys All-Pro NFL player Dez Bryant purchased Bored Ape Yacht Club in July 2021, barely three months after it was created and before its value skyrocketed by another 2000 per cent or more. That investment was on par with the greatest NFT investors. Stephen ‘Steph’ Curry of the Golden State Warriors is regarded as one of the most delicate point guards and shooters in the history of the NBA, having been awarded MVP twice and an eight-time All-Star. Steph paid 55 Ether (ETH) for Bored Ape, more than doubling his investment in NFTs in Ethereum terms. He marked the occasion by launching his own NFT collection of 2,974 non-fungible tokens, each of which was a digital art duplicate of the footwear he wore when smashing the NBA record.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club, marketed as a membership club, has not only established itself at the centre of the NFT movement but has also produced a substantial amount of money in a reasonably short time. After their doors opened in April 2021, they generated $397 million in trading volume. While this may surprise you, consider this: The lowest NFT available for purchase on the popular NFT marketplace OpenSea is roughly $2,500.