"Crypto" Sponsor IQONIQ Are Bankrupt - Fan Coins Worthless | Bayer Leverkusen, Crystal Palace, Monaco & More Lose Money & Deals
The recent bankruptcy of Monaco-based crypto company "IQONIQ", who had a number of high-profile sponsorship deals across football clubs in Europe, has once again highlighted the risks associated with the sector.
IQONIQ's financial woes have left the likes of Crystal Palace, Bayer Leverkusen and AS Roma without sleeve sponsors.
The Germans have of course already moved on to the next flavor of the month crypto "project", "Floki Inu", which is down almost 90% from the all-time high on November 4, 2021. Crystal Palace, meanwhile, have recently announced a "Fan Token" partnership with Socios, another company in the space.
As reported by The Times, Real Sociedad, another team that had a deal with IQONIQ, are still owned €820,000 and have opened legal proceedings. Having signed deals with dozens of sports teams all around Europe, it's safe to assume that the company are owing several millions.
Football Sponsorships Signed by IQONIQ
- Leverkusen (sleeve sponsor)
- Real Sociedad (main shirt sponsor)
- Crystal Palace (sleeve sponsor)
- AS Roma (sleeve sponsor)
- Marseille (sleeve sponsor)
- Monaco (sleeve sponsor)
- Zenit (back of shirt sponsor)
- La Liga (Main Partner)
- Groningen (Engagement Partner)
- Valencia (Global Partner)
IQONIQ CEO Kazim Atilla said that "millions" of tokens had been bought and were now practically worthless, as quoted by JOE. Atilla claims that IQONIQ had not been liquidated and blames the coronavirus pandemic for his firm's financial woes.
But quoting from the Leverkusen announcement, released in July, i.e. months after most deals were announced, says all.
"The Iqoniq app is currently in a BETA test phase and will be launched soon so that Bayer 04 can also publish their own account there and share exclusive content with their fans."
IQONIQ's website now states that their app is "launching in 2022" - we'll see about that...
What's funny about this story is that Crystal Palace suspended the partnership after a few months, when IQONIQ missed a payment in February of 2021, but the company still went on to announce a deal with Leverkusen in July, one that ended up lasting just a few months.
This story highlights all the potential issues with crypto sponsors, which might be worse even than the already unpopular betting sponsors. But with big money offers ready for the taking, there appears to be no slowdown of teams announcing such partnerships, as evidenced by recent reports on the Inter and Barcelona shirt sponsorships.
Let's hear your thoughts in the comments below.