The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl was a great event in the short history of Bitcoin so far. Not only was this event the most watched programme that evening on cable television in the US, but it provided BitPay with an excellent platform to increase global awareness about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, none of the participants in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg bowl were sold on the benefits of Bitcoin, and most certainly not ESPN.
While we are all grateful to ESPN for their coverage of the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, and their multiple mentions of Bitpay and Bitcoin during the show, the company is not thrilled about Bitcoin. In fact, we could even go as far as saying they wanted nothing to do with Bitcoin at all, and they are “stuck in the old ways”, so to speak.
The reason we are saying this is simple : BitPay used Bitcoin to pay for its sponsorship of the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. The amount in Bitcoin was then sent to ESPN, whom were nice enough to accept the payment in Bitcoin itself. But that’s as far as the kindness went, as ESPN decided not to take a risk and cash out their BTC into fiat currency right away.
Even though Bitcoin has become a far less volatile cryptocurrency now compared to the previous years, ESPN had made the smart move there, if you look at things from their point of view. Since the Bitcoin St. Petersburg bowl ended, the Bitcoin price has fallen by nearly 10%, which would mean a huge financial loss for ESPN if they had chosen to hold on to the Bitcoin up until now.
Both of the teams competing in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl were paid in fiat currency, and not in Bitcoin. That decision was made despite having the option to be paid in either Bitcoin or fiat currency, according to several reports. And they were not the only parties not to receive any payment in Bitcoin, as all vendors eligible for payment from ESPN were also paid in fiat currency.
While Bitcoin enthusiasts around the world will find this a shame, it goes to show that Bitcoin still has a long way to go in order to change its marketing image. And to end this article on a high, BitPay has two more years left on their contract with ESPN and the St. Petersburg Bowl, so maybe things will turn out completely different next year.