FIBA, the international basketball federation, has agreed a new global partnership with Bitci, the blockchain-based fan engagement platform from Turkey.
Under a two-year deal, the platform will offer innovative products to the global basketball community.
As a global partner of the governing body, Bitci will have commercial rights across all FIBA competitions, including the FIBA Continental Cups for both men and women, FIBA Youth World Cups, the 2022 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and the flagship FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2023.
Specific rights for these events include premium brand visibility on the court and exclusive presenting sponsorship rights for select qualifying competitions.
Bitci will also develop and launch a dedicated FIBA fan token to enhance fan engagement activities. The token will give fans the opportunity to vote on various competitions, participate in polls, have access to promotional licensing products, and get special access to tickets and behind the scenes activities.
In addition to the fan token, both parties will explore the opportunity to develop specific Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which will comprise memorable moments from the FIBA archive.
FIBA said it has identified blockchain technology as “a new and unique way for fans to interact and engage with the sport” and added that it “aligns perfectly with one of FIBA's strategic priorities for 2019-2023, which is to enlarge the FIBA family by expanding its partners and embracing new ideas.”
The deal was brokered by FIBA Marketing, the strategic partnership between FIBA and Infront, the international sports marketing agency responsible for securing multi-year deals for the federation's calendar of events.
Bitci becomes the governing body’s ninth global partner joining Nike, Molten, Ganten, Smart Communications, Tencent, TCL, Wanda and Tissot, with the latter agreeing a six-year extension with FIBA last month.
Andreas Zagklis, FIBA secretary general, said: "We are excited to enter this new partnership with Bitci. FIBA is committed to enlarging the basketball family and offering innovative opportunities to our members and fans.
“Technology is a key driver in basketball and working with Bitci will further enhance our footprint as well as our direct interaction with fans."
Altan Tan, chief executive of Bitci, said: "Bitci is honoured to enter into this ground-breaking partnership with FIBA. We have been expanding our partnerships globally this year but partnering with FIBA is a game-changer for us.
“It proves Bitci's commitment to the world of sports by offering secure services in the blockchain industry. We will work diligently to create a unique FIBA fan token that will have a strong and sustainable value for the fans."
Bitci has developed an extensive sponsorship portfolio in recent years, signing deals across multiple sports, most notably in soccer.
It has agreements with England's Wolverhampton Wanderers, Spain’s Alaves, Turkey’s Bursaspor and Denizlispor, as well as the Brazilian Football Confederation and the Uraguayan Football Association.
The brand also supports motorcycling's MotoGP World Championship and Formula 1 team McLaren.