Australian Baseball Team To Pay Players And Staff In Bitcoin

Perth Heat Adding BTC to Balance Sheet

The baseball team made the announcement on Wednesday (November 17, 2021). According to Perth Heat it struck a partnership deal with OpenNode, a Bitcoin payment processor, to enable the club to send and receive BTC payments over the Lightning Network..

Commenting on the latest development, Steven Nelkovski, the CEO of Perth Heat, said that the players and staff are willing to accept the new method of payment. Nelkovski added:

“We know the community looks to the Perth Heat as a model of success and we hope our adoption of a Bitcoin Standard will inspire others to embrace a monetary system that demands value creation to thrive.”

The baseball team also announced that it would accept Bitcoin payments for ballpark concessions, sponsorships, and merchandise. Perth Heat further revealed that it would “hodl” bitcoin on its balance sheet, with the new Chief Bitcoin Officer Patrick O’Sullivan stating that the club is “shifting the corporate treasury from dollars to Bitcoin”

O’Sullivan went on, saying:

“The club has already established an initial position in BTC to help secure its digital property rights on the world’s most secure monetary network and will continue to reinvest available capital into Bitcoin […] This is not a one-off purchase to hedge against future uncertainties or inflationary pressures. The Perth Heat are embracing the reality that the future of money and corporate treasuries will live on the Bitcoin blockchain.”

According to the club, this is the first time that a professional sports team is fully embracing a Bitcoin standard. Founded in 1989, Perth Heat is a baseball team in the Australian Baseball League (ABL) is regarded as the most successful team in the ABL with 15 Claxton Shields to its name.

The Continuous Adoption of Bitcoin in the Sports Industry

There continues to be an increasing number of partnerships between sports clubs and cryptocurrency platforms, with more teams embracing Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

Similar to the move made by Perth Heat, Vivek Ranadivé, chairman and CEO of National Basketball Association (NBA) giant Sacramento Kings, revealed that players and employees could receive their salary payments in Bitcoin. The basketball team has adopted BTC since 2014.

In July, AZ Alkmaar, a Dutch football team, inked a sponsorship deal with crypto broker Bitcoin Meester, making the latter the official partner of the club till mid-2024. Also, the deal will not only be finalized in BTC, but the club intends to keep the Bitcoin on its balance sheets.

American professional basketball team, the Philadelphia 79ers, also collaborated with cryptocurrency exchange and non-fungible token (NFT) platform, for a jersey patch sponsorship.

Major cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX has been involved in a number of sports partnerships, with the latest being a collaboration with Formula 1 racing team, Mercedes-AMG Petronas. The deal would enable the display of the FTX logo on the cars and team drivers.

Meanwhile, some players in the National Football League (NFL), also prefer to receive all or part of their payment in BTC and other cryptocurrencies. Such NFL players include Russell Okung, Aaron Rodgers, Saquon Barkley, and Tom Brady

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