Popular National Basketball Association (NBA) team, Houston Rockets, recently entered into a sponsorship agreement with AntPool, one of the largest Bitcoin mining pools. The deal sees the Bitmain-owned AntPool sponsoring the Rockets for the upcoming 2018/2019 NBA season.
Houston Rockets…to the Moon?
According to SportsPro Media, the deal followed AntPool’s announcement of its newly built Texas-based U.S. office. Commenting on the agreement, John Corley, the Houston Rockets vice president, said:
The Rockets are always looking to stay ahead of the curve with technology both on and off the court, and AntPool’s prowess with cryptocurrency makes for a great partnership.
As part of the deal, AntPool plans to unveil an exhibition at the Toyota Center, home of the Rockets in early 2019. The NBA team reportedly has a massive following in China where Bitmain is based. This popularity is likely because Yao Ming, China’s most famous basketball player, plied his trade for the Rockets for nine years.
The move also signals a consolidation of Bitmain’s expansion efforts in the United States. Recently, Bitcoinist reported that the mining giant planned to establish a mega cryptocurrency mining and data center in Rockdale, Texas.
AntPool which is owned by Bitmain is currently the fourth largest Bitcoin mining pool with 10.9 percent of the network’s total hashrate in the last one week.
Speaking on the sponsorship agreement, Haijiao Li, the overseas operations manager at AntPool, said:
What better way to continue the momentum of our US expansion than partnering with the prolific Houston Rockets basketball club, the number one team in China. As the cryptocurrency industry around the globe continues to evolve and develop, it is going to be more and more important for companies like AntPool to lead the conversation and conversion of consumers to adopt and understand digital currencies.
Bitcoin and Basketball
The Rockets sponsorship deal with AntPool is the second piece of cryptocurrency news for the NBA team in as many weeks. Billionaire team owner, Tilman Fertitta, recently announced that his luxury car dealership would accept Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash payments.
At the start of the year, Mark Cuban announced that his Dallas Mavericks basketball team would accept Bitcoin for ticket purchases in the upcoming season. At the time, the news signaled a change in Cuban’s stance on Bitcoin after he called the popular cryptocurrency a “bubble” in an interview last June.
What do you think about the Houston Rockets – AntPool sponsorship agreement? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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