The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has signed a two-year sponsorship deal with cryptocurrency trading platform Crypto.com ahead of the upcoming World Championship.
Crypto.com has announced it has become the official cryptocurrency and non-fungible token (NFT) sponsor for the IIHF’s flagship event in 2021 and 2022.
The next World Championship is due to be held from Friday (May 21) to June 6 in Latvian capital Riga, while the 2022 edition is set to take place in Finland.
It is claimed the IIHF will be the first International Federation to have a World Championship supported by a cryptocurrency and NFT platform.
"The IIHF has always been about pushing the boundaries of what is possible both on and off the ice and we are excited to begin working with Crypto.com," said IIHF President René Fasel.
"NFTs have already found a role in sport but we are delighted to be the first international sports federation to properly recognise how they can add value to a number of stakeholders who are both familiar and new to ice hockey."
Founded in 2016, Crypto.com describes itself as the fastest-growing cryptocurrency app with more than 10 million users worldwide.
"We are proud to join renowned brands like Nike and Tissot in supporting the IIHF World Championships, watched by hundreds of millions of fans throughout Europe and North America," said Kris Marszalek, co-founder and chief executive of Crypto.com.
"This is just the latest in a series of exciting sports partnerships where we bring together the best of blockchain technology and sport by co-creating NFTs sure to become instant classics and highly coveted collectibles."
An NFT is a one-of-a-kind digital token which can be bought and sold but has no tangible form of its own.
The World Championship is due to feature two eight-team groups, with ROC, Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus and Britain forming Group A.
Group B is set to consist of hosts Latvia, defending champions Finland, Canada, United States, Germany, Norway, Italy and Kazakhstan.
Latvia was confirmed as the sole host of the tournament in February, following Belarus being stripped of co-hosting rights.