Peyongchang Olympics have started and we were all watching the grande opening with almost 3,000 athletes marching through. What is interesting is that, one particular athlete decided to be paid in – cryptocurrency.
Canadian speed skater Ted-Jan Bloemen recently struck a one-year sponsorship deal with ONG Social, a social network and crypto community, and also with a developer of virtual reality experiences, CEEK VR.
According to his agent, Bloemen decided that he wants to explore a “whole new frontier” when it comes to Olympic athletes funding their pursuit of success, by accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment.
He also confirmed that this really is a whole new frontier for him. “It will be exciting to see how cryptocurrency can work for Ted-Jan, in particular, but also the impact it will have on the sport marketing industry as a whole.”
However, he secured himself in case crypto-market fells down so he also did receive some cash. He himself said that he thinks the real risk of not getting anything is not there, because he got a little cash out of it already. “And that combination makes this sponsorship really fun, right. Because we’re going to help each other. I’m trying to get them a little more exposure to make them succeed, and that would help all of us, right.”
He also tweeted:
The reason why Bloemen may not be so worried about the volatility of digital currency lays also in the fact that he is not getting paid in Bitcoin or any of the other major currencies. Instead, it seems ONG Social has its own currency.
According to CoinMarketCap, onG.social (ONG) has a total market cap of $5,807,057 USD at the time of this writing.
If it’s a deal that provides exposure for ONG and CEEK VR, it could also be a nice move with Mary Spio, the CEO and founder of the virtual reality company, pointing out that athletes would increasingly use VR to improve their performance.
In the official announcement she said: “Bloemen’s support for cutting-edge technologies is reflective of his proclivity for pushing the boundaries. We believe Virtual Reality isn’t just great for our audience (Ceekers) but will ultimately be used for training and maximizing player performance and potential.”
Skating in the ninth of 11 pairs Sunday in the men’s 5,000 metres at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Dutch-born Bloemen, who holds the world record at 6:01.86, took silver in his Olympic debut.