La Liga offers football's first official cryptocurrency wallet

Partnership intends to tap into growing interest among fans for digital coins in Mena, South-East Asia and China regions

The Bitcoin symbol at a digital asset congress in El Salvador. The cryptocurrency wallet partnership between La Liga and Divi Labs aims to reach one billion people. AP

La Liga, Spain’s top football league, has teamed up with Costa Rica-based Divi Labs to unveil football's first official cryptocurrency wallet.

The move is aimed at tapping into surging interest among football fans for digital coins in the Mena, South-East Asia and China regions.

The cryptocurrency wallet partnership aims to reach one billion people, La Liga said on Monday.

“Crypto is being embraced by football fans and we want to bring in partners who demonstrate our understanding of what is important to them and align with our values," said La Liga executive director Oscar Mayo.

Cryptocurrency wallets are tools that are commonly used to store and protect digital coins, and come in different forms and varieties.

About 45 per cent of 4,000 people in the UAE, the US, the UK, China and South Korea polled by blockchain-based research platform Realresearch last year admitted to using digital wallets frequently, while 18.6 per cent of users said they use only cold wallets or those that are not connected to the internet.

Half the respondents also said the security of their cryptocurrency assets is extremely important when choosing a new wallet.

In August, La Liga agreed to sell a 10 per cent stake for €2.7 billion ($3.21bn) to private equity company CVC Capital Partners as it hastens its digital transformation and moves away from its current mono-product model, which had been based mostly on the game and sale of audiovisual rights.

Under La Liga's digital plan, it aims to offer a multi-product and multi-experiential model that has a direct relationship with fans, it said at the time.

The regions covered by the Divi Labs deal are considered to be "emerging as the next cryptocurrency capitals", according to La Liga’ s latest research.

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Crypto is being embraced by football fans and we want to bring in partners who demonstrate our understanding of what is important to them and align with our values
Oscar Mayo, executive director at La Liga

“They are also areas where crypto is taking off among fans. Data from this year reveals that one in 10 fans in the Mena region are crypto investors and six out of 10 crypto investors in the Mena region are La Liga fans,” it said.

Established in 2017, Divi Labs aims to hasten the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies through its easy-to-use wallet.

The partnership will give Divi Labs a powerful platform to reach and engage with new audiences around the world, said Nick Saponaro, the company's chief executive.

“[It will] deliver on our mission to enable people from all walks of life to engage in the crypto economy and achieve financial freedom and inclusion,” Mr Saponaro said.

“It also offers a launch pad from which to get our products into the hands of people who need them most. The partnership will enable us to accelerate the creation of real-world initiatives that help some of the most in-need communities on the planet.”

Under the deal, a range of content and player-driven experiences will be created to help educate fans about cryptocurrencies and provide access to essential services in local communities, which experience challenges that can be solved through cryptocurrencies.

“Much like La Liga, [Divi] is a challenger brand that is innovating its sector. But perhaps most importantly, they, like us, care about building close links with their community and are driven to leave a long-lasting positive impact on everyone they reach,” Mr Mayo said.

Updated: December 6th 2021, 12:35 PM