In what appears to be a first-of-its-kind appeal from an American sports body, USA Luge is asking fans and sports lovers to step forward and donate cryptocurrencies to support its Olympic ambitions.
The lugers association kick-started a bitcoin fundraiser in December 2017 saying that “the sport of luge has always been one to reward innovation and technology.” Bitcoin investors keen on helping out American lugers win Gold medals in the next edition of the quadrennial games can make donations through the official campaign page.
Even though the athletes are backed by multiple sponsors, the fundraising campaign will serve as an additional avenue for the underfunded luge team for better training and management.
As of Feb 9, the day of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the team had raised 0.673 bitcoins, which at that time amounted to approximately $5,400. Fast forward to Feb 20 and the dollar-equivalence of the bitcoin raised stood at nearly $7,300.
USA Luge is also assuring would-be donors by making it clear on its website that not only are their donations tax deductible but “from a tax point of view, donating Bitcoin to USA Luge gives donors the benefits of not paying taxes on any appreciated Bitcoin.”
The team claims to be the first-ever US Olympic group to set up a bitcoin wallet to accept donations, adding that the move is synonymous with the spirit of luge which is intertwined with high-speed and fraught with danger.
While the USA Luge team is not the star-attraction in the country’s Olympic ambitions, it is possible that the team’s experimental endeavor with bitcoin fundraising could kick off a new trend in the world of sports and the cryptocurrency community.
An untapped territory, sports teams, and events present a unique opportunity for cryptocurrency companies. The fact that ICOs and more established blockchain/crypto companies are yet to stick their brands over sports teams is in itself very surprising.
However, it’s a different story altogether with cryptocurrency betting platforms. Several of these platforms are focused on sports punters, enabling people to gamble online using their crypto stash.
Meanwhile, USA Luge has promised to add bitcoin logo and decals on the team’s equipment and kit during future events. Here’s the roadmap they have prepared for the bitcoin “makeover”:
- For 5 BTC, the bitcoin logo will appear on the official USA Luge hats and memorabilia hats.
- For 10 BTC, above plus the bitcoin logo on lugers’ outerwear for the 2018 season
- For 25 BTC, all of the above plus a bitcoin logo of sleds during the next two seasons
- For 50 BTC, all of the above plus a bitcoin logo of sleds during the next four seasons
- For 100 BTC, all of the above plus a bitcoin logo of sleds during the next four seasons (excluding Olympics)
Feature image by Beau Wingfield