Although Cryptocurrencies have crashed from its stunning highs, but the ‎industry is alive and ‎kicking with sports partnerships are still growing. No sign of any let up thus far, and it’s ‎easy to understand why.‎

Canadian speed skater Ted-Jan Bloemen is the latest athlete figure‏ ‏to take ‎advantage of this ‎frenzy, announcing a partnership with ONG Social and CEEK ‎VR ahead of the Initial Coin Offering ‎‎(ICO) of its new tokens, ONG and ‎CEEK, designed specifically for social media and VR ‎experience.‎

CEEK VR is a producer of virtual reality experiences, which is set to issue its ‎token publicly in ‎mid-February while ONG Social is a decentralized social ‎network and crypto-community, ‎already has a coin on the market.‎

The deal, the value of which was undisclosed, is the first time an Olympic athlete has officially partnered with a cryptocurrency ‎firm. It comes as an increasing number of regulators express concern about the dangers of consumers risking their ‎savings in digital fundraising. ‎

Interestingly, some of Bloemen’s compensation ‎will include cryptocurrency, where he would be able to cash out following this ‎month’s ICO, making him the first ‎athlete sponsored with ‎virtual coins. He will provide content for Ceek and ONG during the Olympics in exchange for cryptocurrency, CEEK VR said in a press statement.‎

By signing the partnership, the crypto startups target new clientele that are ‎mainly fans of ‎athletics and marathons sports. Given the popularity of the ‎track star, the firms aim to ‎achieve better exposure within North America, ‎where Bloemen has a much higher profile than ‎any other region.‎

Dutch-born Bloemen holds the world’s fastest time in the 10,000 at ‎‎12:36.30, which he set in ‎‎2015. The 31-year-old long track skater also set a ‎world record in the 5,000 in a time of six ‎minutes 1.86 seconds to erase the ‎decade-old mark of 6:03.32 by Sven Kramer of the ‎Netherlands.‎

Bloemen was selected to Canada’s 2018 Olympic team in the 5,000 metre, 10,000 ‎metre, and ‎Team Pursuit events in Korea.‎

A few concerns as well

Indeed, there are also some concerns with this kind of mass market ‎advertising that are ‎rarely if ever discussed, being glossed over in ‎triumphant press releases and media reports. ‎For instance, when it comes to ‎deciding to invest in cryptocurrency, or anything else, celebrities ‎might not ‎be the best sources of information.‎

The U.S. securities regulator has already warned celebrities ‎that they may be ‎violating the law if they make paid endorsements of ‎cryptocurrencies without disclosing the ‎payments.‎

The fact that online betting companies like Bwin or Betfair also use sports ‎sponsorships to ‎build their brands adds to the confusion of the public. The ‎third problem, and perhaps the ‎most important, is the fact that ICOs get to ‎be portrayed in a false and misleading way. ‎

Commenting on the partnership, Lawrence Baslaw, Bloemen’s ‎agent said: “I believe this ‎cryptocurrency sponsorship is a first for any ‎athlete. This is really a whole new frontier. It will ‎be exciting to see how ‎cryptocurrency can work for Ted-Jan, in particular, but also the impact ‎it will ‎have on the sport marketing industry as a whole‏.” ‏

Christopher J. Kramer, CEO of ONG, added:”OneName Global (ONG) is ‎honored to partner ‎with speed skating world record holder, Ted-Jan ‎Bloemen. He is a classic example that, with ‎hard work and determination, ‎you can achieve your dreams. ONG is pleased to be able to ‎highlight Ted-‎Jan’s athletic journey on social media and award a dedicated athlete with a ‎new ‎form of digital gold through the ONG cryptocurrency sponsorship‏.” ‏