Major League Baseball kicked off its 2021 season on Thursday, and the Oakland A’s are taking advantage of the cryptocurrency market frenzy to grab some headlines on Opening Day.
What Happened? The A’s have become the first MLB team to sell tickets for cryptocurrency, announcing that crypto-asset platform Voyager Digital Ltd (OTC:VYGVF) purchased a six-person suite for the upcoming season for one Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC).
“Cryptocurrency is a viable and tangible currency model, and we know other forward-thinking companies and individuals will join Voyager in using this payment for ticket purchases,” A’s President Dave Kaval said in a statement.
The A’s said they will continue to sell full-season, six-person suites for one Bitcoin through Thursday.
“Voyager is proud to make history with this crypto purchase,” said Steve Ehrlich, CEO and co-founder of Voyager. “We’ve enjoyed a strong relationship with A’s right fielder Stephen Piscotty and look forward to growing our relationship within the A’s organization. Voyager intends to share the suite with our customer community in the Bay Area and beyond.”
Beane’s SPAC: The A’s organization was also in the financial market news earlier this year after long-time executive Billy Beane’s SPAC RedBall Acquisition Corp (NYSE:RBAC) was unable to raise the funding needed to invest in a 20% to 25% stake in Boston Red Sox parent company Fenway Sports Group.
The deal would have likely forced Beane to leave the A’s organization due to a conflict of interest. However, Beane, who was famously portrayed by Brad Pitt in 2011’s “Moneyball,” is now reportedly staying with the team through at least the 2021 season as RedBall continues to search for a potential acquisition.
Oakland has long been one of the smallest markets in MLB. The A’s franchise was valued at about $1.1 billion as of 2020, about a third of the value of the Red Sox franchise.
Benzinga’s Take: Give Oakland’s proximity to Silicon Valley and the enthusiasm for cryptocurrency these days, selling suites in Bitcoin seems like a very savvy PR move for the A’s. The roughly $60,000 investment also got Voyager Digital some significant publicity as well.
Photo credit: Kwong Yee Cheng, Flickr
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