- Partnerships with influencers like Nascar driver Landon Cassill and NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski helped build Voyager brand awareness last year
- The firm is looking to move more into NFTs and other parts of the metaverse in 2022, according to Voyager CMO Pam Kramer
Voyager Digital is focused on continuing to build its brand in 2022 through more video-driven content that highlights consumer voices as well as partnerships that could move beyond the sports world.
Crypto marketing competition has heated up as companies in the space spent the last year looking to push their brands into the mainstream.
“Consumer financial services has long been an important advertiser and an important player in the media marketing landscape,” Voyager Chief Marketing Officer Pam Kramer told Blockworks in an interview. “The crypto category, now as it emerges, is no exception.”
Connecting with people and influencers who can talk about their experience with crypto is a key part of Voyager’s strategy, Kramer noted. The publicly traded company partnered with Nascar driver Landon Cassill in June, as well as NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski in September.
Such users of Voyager’s crypto platform can spread the firm’s message especially quickly through the internet, the executive explained, noting that the firm will look to further “elevate the voices” of its users going forward.
“It’s less about big media buys and more about tapping into the community,” Kramer said.
Crypto.com also had a busy year of marketing, capped off by a 20-year, $700 million deal for the naming rights of what was formerly the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Crypto exchange FTX partnered with a handful of high-profile athletes throughout the year, including Tom Brady, Steph Curry and Shohei Ohtani.
Kramer said she expects crypto to grow from its current level of a few hundred million users to a billion users within the next four or so years. Those billion users will be using a variety of platforms, she said, noting that there is “plenty of room” for multiple players in the space.
“I think over the next 12 to 24 months, we’re going to see the brands start to differentiate and each one develop a personality and connect with different groups of consumers,” Kramer noted.
A busy year
Kramer, who knew Voyager CEO Steve Ehrlich from her time working at ETrade Financial from 1995 to 2004, joined Voyager as its chief marketing officer in March.
At ETrade, Kramer said she ran focus groups in 1995 with people who said they would be uncomfortable interacting with their money online. That changed quickly over the next decade, she noted, adding that the perceptions around crypto are also morphing.
“I realized very quickly that we were in the middle of a culture change and that crypto was going to fundamentally change the way we interact with money and the financial world,” Kramer said.
Focused on continuing Voyager’s growth when she entered the CMO role in 2021, Kramer noted that the firm’s funded accounts grew from 43,000 at the end of 2020 to more than 1 million a year later.
“We’ve developed a mantra that is ‘crypto for all’ and developed a brand focus that is very much around humanity, around making crypto less cryptic and about making it accessible [so it] feels like they can participate in and earn the rewards of this new frontier,” Kramer said.
The firm extended its partnership with Cassill last month for two more years. The racecar driver will be paid with a crypto portfolio that includes bitcoin (BTC), the voyager token (VGX), USD coin (USDC), stormX (STMX) and avalanche (AVAX).
“I am excited to not only have a shot at winning races, but to bring awareness to crypto and help educate people in a space that I’ve been personally invested in for a number of years,” Cassill said in a statement at the time of the extension.
Voyager also announced a partnership with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks in October to bolster brand awareness and drive cryptocurrency adoption through educational programs.
Most recently, Voyager announced a multi-year agreement with The National Women’s Soccer League. The firm will fund crypto accounts for each rostered player in the league and will provide them with financial education.
A CNBC survey published last summer found that men are more than twice as likely to invest in cryptocurrencies than women.
“This is one piece of helping to close that gender gap,” Kramer said of the partnership.
More on the horizon
One of the biggest challenges of marketing in the crypto space is helping a broad audience understand what can be a realm filled with memes, complicated lingo, and misconceptions, Kramer said.
“It’s not just educating; It’s almost helping to say, ‘This thing you thought about [crypto], it’s not real so let’s help you not only learn about it but start new associations,’” she explained. “That’s where people like Gronk and Landon and others really help.”
Voyager has done a lot of focused digital media and paid social media, and will continue to do so. It will create more video-driven content across those channels, Kramer said.
Ren Besnard, vice president of marketing at Unstoppable Domains, previously told Blockworks that he predicts a crypto company will have the best advertisement during Super Bowl LVI in February.
When asked whether the firm was planning any marketing efforts around the game, slated for Feb. 13, Kramer said the firm is looking to potentially advertise around spring sports in March.
While much of big crypto marketing efforts to date have happened within the sports world, Voyager is looking at partnerships in other industries as well, Kramer said.
“Just like I look at the profiles of our customers, we look at what else they’re interested in — what kinds of music, what kinds of entertainment and how people spend their time,” Kramer said.
Today, Voyager is a platform where users can buy and sell roughly 70 cryptocurrencies, but it’s looking to move more into NFTs and other parts of the metaverse, Kramer added.
Ehrlich said during an October earnings call that crypto market maker Alameda Research, which invested $75 million in Voyager that month, would help it get more involved in the NFT space. He noted at the time that Voyager intends to make NFTs on multiple platforms accessible to its two million or so users and could look to build its own NFTs through its relationships with Cassill and Gronkowski.
“We want to be able to offer access to NFTs in the same way we offer access to the crypto assets today,” Kramer said, “so really making it simple and broad.”
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