Sponsorships for the cryptocurrency industry have led to a spike in income for the NBA.

NBA sponsorship revenue rose 12.5% during the 2021-22 season to a record $1.64 billion, according to a new report from consultancy IEG and its Sponsorship Intelligence Database. The total is up 90 percent from five years ago.

New arena naming rights and jersey patch deals added an additional $180 million to NBA coffers this season, with cryptocurrency pacts responsible for roughly 70% of the new money.

“The NBA has always been test-and-learn thinkers,” Peter Laatz, IEG’s global managing director, said in a phone interview. “They have a younger audience [than the NFL], a more diverse audience, and a more global audience. If you look at the crypto spending in the NBA, it makes perfect sense.”

Crypto companies spent more than $130 million on NBA sponsorships this season, compared to less than $2 million in 2020-21. Crypto is now the second highest-spending sector.