Nashville SC sponsor to pay MLS club solely in bitcoin

Nashville SC announced on Tuesday its latest sponsor with the addition of Valkyrie Investments, a Nashville-based investment manager focused on digital assets. The partnership makes Nashville the first MLS team to accept its full sponsor fee in bitcoin.

As part of the partnership, the Premier Club, an 850-seat premium club located in Nashville's new stadium, will be renamed the Valkyrie Premier Club. In addition to the naming rights to this space, Valkyrie's logo will be featured on the sleeve of the team's training top.

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"I think generally, crypto and blockchain businesses fit so well against the demographic of MLS, which I think skews younger than most audiences in sports, more affluent, more digital savvy," Nashville CEO Ian Ayre said. "So we felt it was a space that was important to be in and feel very lucky to have found something in our home market that has such a presence in the industry."

Dutch club PSV Eindhoven and the NBA's Houston Rockets are among the other sports teams that have also taken a sponsorship fee in the digital currency.

"Our industry is all about community, and soccer is very much a community-driven sport," Valkyrie Investments CEO Leah Wald said in a statement. "This partnership with Nashville SC is such a natural fit for both of us, and is only part of our broader efforts to help establish Music City as a global hub for blockchain and digital assets."

The price of bitcoin has been volatile of late. As of the close of trading on Monday, bitcoin has lost 26.5% of its value in the last year, and is down 42.8% from its all-time high of $67,582.60 set last November. But that didn't prove to be a deterrent for Nashville in terms of its sponsorship fee.

"We're not concerned," Ayre said about bitcoin's volatility. "I think if you look at most major organizations today, there are so many that are now looking at what you do with your cash, whether you're keeping it all in this currency or other currencies. It's something for our finance team to look at what the best hedge is on that.

"We will make a decision as we go forward, how much of it is kept in crypto, how much of it is converted to dollars. I don't see it any differently to organizations, utilizing their cash in different ways and investing, making sure that the business is in a good place. And that you're hedging across volatility, whether it's currencies or whether it's in this case, crypto, so I don't feel concerned about it."