April 13, 2024

Chelsea sign sponsorship deal with Russia-linked crypto firm

Chelsea have agreed a new sponsorship deal with BingX, a crypto company who have described themselves as “a steadfast supporter of the Russian crypto community.”

The deal means BingX will become Chelsea’s new shirt sleeve sponsor for the rest of this season. After this campaign, BingX will sponsor Chelsea’s training kit in what is being described as a multi-year deal.

This season, 18 of the 20 Premier League clubs, including Manchester United, have an official crypto partner, which has prompted criticism. BingX does not appear to be fully accessible in the UK and has offices in Asia, Oceania, Europe and South America.

The company proudly boasted about their links to Russia at the end of November last year and hosted what they described as “a prominent event during Moscow Tech Week” which showcased its “commitment to innovation and engagement within the Russian crypto community.”

Chelsea co-owners Clearlake Capital and Todd Boehly, who have negotiated the deal with BingX, bought the club from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who was sanctioned by the UK government and effectively forced to sell the club. As a result, restrictions were placed on Chelsea before the takeover.

Many high-profile businesses decided to cease trading in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine and Chelsea have a Ukraine international player, Mykhailo Mudryk. The Premier League and EFL suspended their broadcast deals with Russia.

Chelsea have supported Ukraine, hosting the ‘Game4Ukraine’ to raise funds for the Mykhailo-Kotsiubynsky School in Chernihiv Oblast, which was struck by missiles, and in February 2022, the club released a statement that said: “The situation in Ukraine is horrific and devastating. Chelsea FC’s thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine. Everyone at the club is praying for peace.”

Chelsea had a crypto partner with the Amber Group in 2022, during which the the WhaleFin logo was displayed on their shirt sleeves. That deal abruptly ended.

As first revealed by Telegraph Sport, Chelsea earlier this season announced a new front-of-shirt sponsorship with Infinite Athlete. It has emerged that their deal will see them become the sleeve sponsor of the training kit from next season.

Founded in 2018, BingX is a cryptocurrency exchange, serving more than 10 million users worldwide and claims to be “committed to providing a trustworthy platform that empowers users with innovative tools and features to elevate their trading proficiency”.

BingX highlighted their influence in Russia in a blog on the company’s website that read: “The purpose of the event was to highlight the extensive possibilities that BingX offers to its users, positioning itself as a reliable and groundbreaking exchange within the Russian market. With a focus on meeting the unique needs of the local audience, BingX has proven to be a steadfast supporter of the Russian crypto community.”

It added: “The Moscow Tech Week event serves as a testament to BingX’s commitment to empowering its users and strengthening its position as a leading cryptocurrency exchange in the Russian market.”

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