Chelsea, the English Premier League soccer club, have ended their long search for a new sleeve sponsor by signing a deal with cryptocurrency company BingX.
Under the deal, BingX will be the west London club's sleeve sponsor for the rest of this season before switching to become its training kit sponsor for the 2024-25 campaign.
Chelsea have been without a sleeve sponsor since Hyundai, the Korean car manufacturer, ended its deal with the club in 2022 after its previous Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government.
The Premier League side also struggled to find a new shirt sponsor for this season after its agreement with UK telecommunications network Three expired at the end of the 2022-23 campaign.
Chelsea began the season without a front-of-shirt sponsor before a deal with sports data firm Infinite Athlete was finally approved by the Premier League in September after an investigation into its links to the club's ownership group.
The deal with BingX will see Chelsea end its training kit sponsorship deal with Trivago next season. The global travel and accommodation platform has held the rights since the 2021-22 campaign.
Infinite Athlete is currently the team's training kit sleeve sponsor and will retain that role next year, while it remains to be seen who will take on the front-of-shirt sponsor role in 2024-25, as well as the shirt sleeve.
The BingX logo is expected to debut on Chelsea's kit for their match against Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on January 9.
However, the decision to partner with the cryptocurrency firm is a controversial move by the club as it has strong ties to the Russian crypto community.
Abramovich, who owned Chelsea for almost 20 years, was sanctioned in 2022 and forced to cede control of the club due to his alleged close relationship with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who in February 2022 ordered the invasion of Ukraine, resulting in a war that has so far displaced over 5 million Ukrainians.
Many high-profile companies, including the Premier League and the second-tier English Football League, ceased trading with Russia following the war.
Chelsea also have a Ukrainian international player, Mykhailo Mudryk, in their ranks.
BingX, which does not seem to be fully accessible in the UK, has offices in Asia, Oceania, Europe, and South America.