As the crypto market tries to stem its bleeding right now, The Sydney Swans has become the latest big sporting franchise to take a punt with a cryptocurrency-related partnership, teaming with the Independent Reserve exchange.

The crypto-trading firm, which has more than 200,000 customers across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, joins the club on a one-year arrangement as the “Official Cryptocurrency Exchange of the Sydney Swans”.

It will take part in match-day activations at Swans’ home games, have a presence across the club’s online channels and will also join the new Sydney Network, the club’s corporate business-engagement arm.

It’s not the first time AFL and crypto have teamed up. Coinjar, Australia’s longest-running exchange, sponsors the 2021 AFL premiers – the Melbourne Demons, while another leading Aussie exchange, CoinSpot, is in league with the Western Bulldogs.

Some decent grand final exposure for those two crypto exchanges there just recently, then. Independent Reserve (and Bloods fans) will be hoping for similar action in 2022.

“Independent Reserve, a well-respected name in the cryptocurrency space, shares common values that align well with our club’s brand,” said Sydney Swans CEO Tom Harley.


Kicking goals… taking it one crypto at a time… etc

Analogising business and sport – it’s a practice probably older than the AFL itself. And, after nabbing the ball at the ruck contest, Independent Reserve CEO Adrian Przelozny didn’t miss the opportunity to nail a well-placed comparison through the posts.

“To make it in footy, the best players are the ones who are bold, back themselves in and show grit and determination on the field,” said the crypto-exchange CEO. “Those attributes are not too different when it comes to investing in crypto. Our two organisations, fans, members and customers are very complimentary in our attitudes and ethos.”

Meanwhile, Swans midfielder/forward Isaac Heeney, who seems to be the main player representing the partnership at this stage, resisted any footy analogies, and played it straight up the middle…

“It’s really innovative for the Swans to be partnering with a cryptocurrency exchange,” said Heeney.

“As we have seen overseas, having high-profile athletes being paid in Bitcoin is really exciting, and hopefully at some point it makes its way into the AFL here in Australia. It is the way of the future.”


Beer money: Spin it to win it

To celebrate the partnership, Independent Reserve is running a digital “Spin 2 Win” activation where Swans fans can win a major prize of AUD$1,000 in Bitcoin with Independent Reserve, as well as Sydney Swans prize packs.

Diehard “Bloods” fan and Swans member Dominic Rolfe, from Sydney’s Rozelle, partook in a spin, and immediately bagged himself AUD$10 worth of Bitcoin.

Pondering what to do with the windfall, Rolfe said: “Yeah… I’m not too sure the Strawbs [Strawberry Hills pub in Sydney’s Surry Hills] takes Bitcoin just yet. But in theory it’ll buy me a schooner of Reschs and maybe some beer nuts. Then again, I probably wouldn’t want to leave it too long the way the market’s shaping this week…”


Swans fan Dominic Rolfe’s $10 BTC spin result