SBI e-sports, a subsidiary of the Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings, has signed a new sponsorship deal with the company’s venture capital arm SBI VC Trade, which will help XRP enter the growing eSports scene.
According to an announcement SBI Holdings published, the partnership will see SBI e-Sports’ teams add the SBI VC Trade logo to their website and uniforms, and will allow players to receive their annual salaries in the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, XRP.
The announcement reads (roughly translated):
Through this partnership, if a player belonging to “SBI e-Sports” wishes to do so, the annual salary will be paid by the crypto asset “XRP”.
According to Statista, the esports market has been growing rapidly, seeing its revenue go from $776.4 million back in 2018 to $957.5 million last year. By 2023, the industry’s revenue is expected to get close to the $1.6 billion mark.
SBI e-Sports reportedly fields professional teams, coordinates with industry media and provides consulting services for the industry. The sponsorship deal’s goal is to seemingly help bolster SBI Holdings’ brand recognition.
It’s worth noting SBI Holdings is a well-known supporter of XRP, so much so that earlier this year it gave its shareholders the option to receive XRP as a benefit. The crypto-friendly financial institution allowed shareholders with 100 to 1,000 shares in the registry as of March 31, 2020, or shareholders with over 1,000 shares for less than one year to choose a benefit of 2,000 yen in XRP ($18) or a selection of health products.
Holders who had been on the registry for longer than one year with more than 1,000 shares were eligible for 8,000 yen in XRP ($74). The benefit was restricted to shareholders residing in Japan.
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