Trevor Lawrence Gets Paid In Crypto

Trevor Lawrence signed an endorsement deal with cryptocurrency app Blockfolio yesterday, electing to receive his "signing bonus" exclusively in cryptocurrency.

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Just days away from being selected as the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence has kept himself busy signing endorsement deals.

After inking multi-million-dollar marketing agreements with mainstays like Gatorade and Adidas, Lawrence announced a first-of-its-kind multi-year deal with the global cryptocurrency investment app Blockfolio yesterday.

The interesting part?

He accepted his “signing bonus” exclusively in cryptocurrency — rather than U.S. Dollars — which was deposited directly into his Blockfolio account.

Here’s what Trevor Lawrence had to say about the decision:

“I’m really excited to be joining the Blockfolio team. When it comes to my crypto portfolio, I wanted a long-term partner in the space that I could trust.”

While the financial terms of the agreement haven’t been disclosed — neither overall value nor signing bonus value – Blockfolio did provide some guidance regarding which cryptocurrencies Trevor Lawrence has invested in.

Lawrence received his “signing bonus” on Friday at 9 pm ET through a combination of three cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana.

Performance Since Friday at 9 pm ET

  • Bitcoin: +9.8%

  • Ethereum: +12.5%

  • Solana: +26.5%

In total, if Trevor Lawrence received an equal amount of each cryptocurrency, his crypto portfolio is already up more than 16% since Friday.

That’s all on paper right now, but considering the S&P 500 is up ~13% YTD despite the US government unleashing fiscal stimulus spending of $5.2 trillion since the COVID-19 pandemic began, that’s obviously an impressive return for Lawrence.

Even more impressive?

The amount of professional sports leagues, teams, and individual players getting creative with cryptocurrency.

Here are a few examples:

  • NBA Top Shot, which offers a marketplace for digital collectibles, is doing over $300M in monthly sales and has seen its valuation triple over the last month — from $2.6 billion to $7.5 billion.

  • Russell Okung of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers announced in December that he converted half of his $13M salary into Bitcoin, which has doubled in value.

  • Cryptocurrency trading platform FTX signed a 19-year, $135 million agreement to become the naming-rights sponsor for the Miami Heat’s arena, making them the first crypto exchange to sponsor a major US professional sports venue.

  • The NBA has created a “Blockchain Advisory Committee,” including owners like Mark Cuban, Joe Tsai, and Ted Leonsis, to explore ways they can integrate blockchain across the league.

  • Rob Gronkowski became the first professional athlete to launch his own NFT collection, selling more than $1 million worth in the first 24 hours.

  • The Oakland Athletics offered fans the opportunity to buy a full-season, six-person suite at their stadium for one Bitcoin, which was trading at $60,000 at the time of the announcement.

  • The Sacramento Kings announced their intention to become the first major sports franchise to offer bitcoin as a payment option to all players and staff.

My favorite example?

Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Sean Culkin announced yesterday that he would be receiving 100% of his $920,000 base salary for 2021 in Bitcoin.

Here’s why:

“Considering my career — particularly its physical demands, and brevity – it makes the most logical sense to be paid in sound money that I believe protects its purchasing power over time.

Given he’s on a league-minimum contract, some people will inevitably gloss over the announcement, but in my opinion, that’s what makes it so impressive. Culkin has the courage and conviction to receive 100% of his salary in Bitcoin.

Whether you believe in the future of the asset class or not, that’s certainly something we can all respect.

In the end, when a new technology like cryptocurrency is introduced, it’s important for players and organizations that want to be at the forefront of innovation to experiment.

Some of these use cases will succeed, while others will fail, but as the bad ideas are filtered out, and the good ideas start to compound, innovation will inevitably occur.

That’s the important part.

As we move into a more digital and decentralized world, it’ll be interesting to see how the $600 billion global sports industry continues to explore unique and productive ways to integrate cryptocurrency within their ecosystem.

Have a great day, and we’ll talk tomorrow.

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