What Happens When Crypto Meets Ted Lasso

Crowley investing is also a process of reputation cleansing. The Great Crypto Crash of 2022 was partly a failure of ambition, as companies that had overextended themselves, believing that the good times would keep coming, suddenly lost it all. Crawley’s new owners want respect. They want to show that nouveau-riche blockchain elites can be good stewards of a community institution. But like the rest of the industry, they’ve seen their extravagant ambitions collide with reality.

At the start of Crowley’s season, American crypto enthusiasts flocked to New York and California in the early hours to watch the team’s matches. These events became unlikely networking opportunities for people working in Web 3, the catchall term for the newfangled Internet built on crypto-technology. But Crowley’s losing streak dampened some of the excitement. Local fans began to complain, and the narrative Tweets It was greeted by crypto investors (“treat someone really nice today,” one asserted). Angry responses Call for the manager to be fired

The grand project to transform a small English football team into a symbol of global crypto power began thousands of miles away from Crawley, in a Malibu, California, branch of Nobu. Last fall, Mr. Johnson attended a dinner at a beachside restaurant, where a group of NFT enthusiasts had gathered to enjoy his newfound wealth. He was right at home: Mr. Johnson, a former ESPN gambling analyst, made a fortune in crypto with NFT Holdings, which was worth $18 million when the market peaked last year.

At dinner, he was approached by Eben Smith, a fellow crypto-entrepreneur, who soon pitched him to a collaboration: a sports team for the crypto community.

Over the next few months, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Smith assembled a group of about 35 crypto advocates, including Gary VaynerchukNFT entrepreneur, and Daryl Morey, A Blockchain enthusiasts Joe is also the President of Basketball Operations at the Philadelphia 76ers. He founded a business enterprise, WAGMI United. Pronounced “wag me”, the name means “We’re all gonna make it”, a popular rallying cry in crypto circles.

The group’s first takeover target was Bradford City, a club in the fourth division of English soccer with a rich history and a large following. “If we want to go to the highest level in America, you need billions of dollars,” Mr. Johnson said. “It was the cheapest price point for us.” But the deal fell apart after Mr. Johnson and Mr. Smith were interviewed. The Washington Post declare their intentions. The fans protested, and the club’s owner refused to sell.

So crypto investors settled for a backup option. A large industrial town near Gatwick Airport, Crawley is no athletic powerhouse. In an interview, a member of the WAGMI project described the area as “kind of like Newark, New Jersey in England”. But the local club was available on one. A relatively cheap price of between £4 and £5 million – about a third of what was raised by WAGMI.

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