Despite $1B lawsuit, Cristiano Ronaldo launches Binance NFTs

Cristiano Ronaldo has unveiled his fourth non-fungible token (NFT) collection in collaboration with Binance. The new collection is set to debut on the Binance NFT Marketplace this week, featuring highlights from Ronaldo’s football career.

Ronaldo said in a blog post: “My football journey has seen me travel around the world, and I’ve been honored to play for some of the most prestigious clubs out there. Now it’s your turn to join me on that journey too.”

The exact number of NFTs in the new collection will be revealed upon its launch. While the pricing details remain undisclosed, Binance mentioned that all “Normal NFTs” will have the same price, whereas the “final Super Rare NFT” will have a different price point.

Previous NFT collections featuring Ronaldo have offered perks beyond the digital space, including premium experiences such as opportunities for holders to play football with Ronaldo as part of Binance promotions.

However, Ronaldo’s involvement with Binance has not been without controversy. The football star is currently facing a class action lawsuit in a United States district court in Florida related to his previous participation in NFT sales with Binance.

The plaintiffs allege that Ronaldo’s endorsement led them to make investments that resulted in significant losses. They are seeking damages exceeding $1 billion.

In November 2022, Binance launched its first “CR7” collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in collaboration with Ronaldo. Ronaldo’s “CR7” brand, synonymous with his initials and shirt number, spans various products, including this NFT collection.

In promoting the NFTs, Ronaldo stated the goal was to elevate the NFT game and bring football to the next level. However, the value of these NFTs plummeted dramatically within a year, with the cheapest in the collection dropping from an initial price of $77 to around $1.

The lawsuit alleges that Ronaldo’s promotion caused a 500% increase in searches for Binance, leading people to invest in what the claimants refer to as “unregistered securities,” such as Binance’s BNB cryptocurrency. Under U.S. law, as stated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), certain digital assets can be classified as securities. Consequently, endorsements of these assets by celebrities require clear disclosure of the compensation received, which the plaintiffs claim Ronaldo failed to do.

Earlier in January, the plaintiffs were reportedly exploring alternative methods to serve legal papers to the elusive athlete. Faced with difficulties in traditional service methods, they filed a motion proposing to use modern communication channels.

The plaintiffs’ motion seeks permission to serve Ronaldo via email, the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), and through a dedicated website created specifically for the case materials. This approach is suggested as a viable solution given the uncertainty surrounding Ronaldo’s current address in Saudi Arabia.

The lawsuit also points out Ronaldo’s massive social media influence, with 850 million followers, as a factor in Binance’s increased popularity and the success of his NFT sales.