The NFL Changes Rules Around NFTs and Crypto

The NFL has relaxed their policy around how teams are allowed to partner with blockchain, crypto, and NFT companies.

The NFL Changes Rules Around NFTs and Crypto
Source: Kirby Lee-USA Today Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

At the beginning of the 2021-22 season, the NFL announced that teams were not allowed to secure sponsorships with blockchain companies in an effort to create a cohesive strategy as the technology evolved.

On March 22nd, the league announced revisions to the rule. Teams will now be able to sign deals with blockchain-based exchange and wallet companies, along with NFT marketplaces and businesses. However, they still won’t be able to offer club marks, logos, or naming rights.

The NFL's stance, while now more accepting, is still cautious. The league’s senior vice president, Joe Ruggiero, explained, “We’re really bullish on the power of blockchain technology. That said, we’re really focused on: How do we be careful and thoughtful in engaging in this space?”

The broader sense caution also has some notable exceptions. To date, the NFL has crypto-related deals with Ticketmaster through NFT tickets, Panini through NFT card offerings, and Dapper Labs through NFT video collectibles. However, it’ll take several more years for the league to fully relax regulations given concerns with the usage of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities and cultural acceptance.