The team behind the Floki Inu (FLOKI) token — inspired by Elon Musk’s pet dog of the same name — has signed a sponsorship deal with Italian football giant S.S.C. Napoli.
S.S.C Napoli was founded in 1926 and is one of the most popular professional teams in Italy. The historic club won its first Serie A title in 1987 led by the late global football icon Diego Maradona and is currently sitting in first place in the league for the 2021–2022 season.
According to a Tuesday announcement from S.S.C. Napoli, the Floki Inu logo depicting a Shiba Inu dog wearing a viking helmet will be displayed on the back of Napoli’s jerseys and across LED signs around the team’s home stadium for the remainder of the current season.
Avid Napoli supporter and Cointelegraph CEO Jay Cassano said that he was “excited to see the club getting more involved with the industry” and emphasized the significance of crypto partnerships in professional sports as a path to mainstream adoption:
“We’re seeing crypto companies and projects target sports wherever they can, from the NBA to European football leagues. Presumably, this is in search of wider adoption. Leagues like Serie A and La Liga have been much more permissive toward crypto sponsorships than, for example, the NFL.”
The Floki Inu team added Napoli to its list of partnered football clubs, which includes the Kerala Blasters from the Indian Super League and the Spanish La Liga’s Cádiz. Floki Inu appears to be following a similar route to top crypto exchange FTX, which has aggressively sought out numerous mainstream sporting partnerships in 2021.
Napoli has not revealed whether it is a multi-year sponsorship deal or how much Floki Inu spent on the partnership. Floki Inu’s marketing department noted in the announcement that the move was a part of the project’s ambitions to be the “most known and most used cryptocurrency in the world.”
The Floki team has been working on a “major marketing push” since late September, with the project stating that it had allocated $1.5 million toward advertising campaigns. Floki Inu has targeted London as a key location with its branding featured across transport services in the city, but the advertisements have proven controversial and attracted the attention of the United Kingdom’s advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
According to a report from the BBC on Friday, the ASA said it was “reviewing a broad body of ads in this sector” to assess whether they break advertising rules in relation to complex jargon and misleading information. However, the Floki Inu team said its ads were “legally cleared” and contained disclaimers regarding the volatility of crypto assets.
Earlier this month, the Floki Inu team also signed an endorsement deal with boxing star and two-time world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. As part of the promo deal, Fury will feature in the project’s upcoming play-to-earn NFT game dubbed Valhalla.
The Ethereum-based token was launched in June earlier this year, and Etherscan shows that there are around 49,461 FLOKI hodlers, with the fully diluted market capitalization standing at $1.8 billion.
Over the past 24 hours, the price of FLOKI has gained around 12% to sit at $0.00018840 at the time of writing, with trading volume hitting around $25.2 million within that time frame, according to CoinGecko.