Manchester City will host Everton today (16:00), but in the English media the last few days have been less about the interesting battle in the Premier League, and more about the English champion’s new and mysterious sponsor. Or rather, in the sponsorship agreement that lasted exactly one week before the “partnership suspension” was decided.
We’ll start from the beginning. Last Friday, Manchester City announced on its official website a secondary adoption contract with “3Key” – a distributed financial trading analysis company. So far everything is good and beautiful, but surfers have turned the media in the kingdom to an interesting fact: there are almost no “digital footprints” on this company, and no one knows where it is. City, too, in its announcement, did not specify too many details.
The man quoted in the club’s official announcement was Ryan S. Holder, who has been named the company’s senior marketing director. “Practice, teamwork and passion are the foundations for success, and those values abound in Manchester City,” Holder was quoted as saying, only that attempts to find out who the man was were initially in vain.
The investigative reporter, Martin Caldin, raised this question on his Twitter account and last Monday asked surfers to find the same marketing manager or other senior executives at the company. After 48 hours, the closest anyone has come to finding verified information about one of these people is a picture of a man with a reddish beard in a plaid suit, who is probably the company’s main growth strategist. Or maybe not. City, despite requests from the Guardian, declined to comment.
* Online sleuthing challenge *
Today Man City signed a deal with 3key, a crypto company. This news piece has four named staff members. Your challenge, for which there will be a prize, is to find an online identity that clearly corresponds to one of them.https: //t.co/QhG9CU1Elp
– Martin Calladine (@uglygame) November 15, 2021
Kaldin asks users to find information about “3Key”
Breaking: The two websites of 3Key, the newly announced Man City crypto partner which was staffed by people with false identities, have gone offline overnight. Cause unknown. pic.twitter.com/cPjn4P0vi0
– Martin Calladine (@uglygame) November 17, 2021
And raises all sorts of questions about the new sponsor
The company executives have disappeared from the face of the earth?
The Times, another important newspaper in the kingdom, also decided to investigate the matter. City claimed in its announcement that it was a “regional partner”, but did not specify which area – in the country or abroad – the deal is included. A press release from 3Key founder Oliver Chen said that “the company is in the process of being set up with a product that will be launched in the coming months.” He also claimed that “the partnership with City will be in areas outside the UK”.
Chen’s statement mentioned four other company executives, but Internet searches failed to find anyone with those names with an online presence or even profiles on social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
And this is not the end. The day after Kaliden’s questions were published, two “3 Key” related websites were suddenly offline. One of them returned last Wednesday to an activity with beautiful design but enigmatic content. While the site claims that “3 Key” has been operating since 2020, there is no mention of staff members or products available to the public.
At least at first glance, the site seems to indicate that “3 Key” is about facilitating the trading of digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies and NFT. The site also showcases the concept of CeDeFi, a combination of the “better of both” when it comes to centralized and distributed financial assets. Only the questions keep piling up and getting asked.
As you may have noticed, virtual currency companies have been entering the sports market recently. It was announced on Wednesday that the Staples Center in Los Angeles, which serves as the home hall of the Lakers and Clippers, will now be called “Crypto.com Arena.” The Virtual Currency Exchange (Crypto) has paid more than $ 700 million for the hall’s name for 20 years, according to the Los Angeles Times.
This is not Crypto.com’s first sports deal. Earlier this year it reported a $ 100 million deal it closed with Formula 1, and it also has additional partnerships with various sports teams. In the NBA there is already a hall whose name is associated with the world of crypto. Earlier this year the name was changed to the Miami Airlines American Airlines Arena and it is now named after the FTX crypto exchange.
And what about “3Key”? The British media, as mentioned, were not impressed by the statements of its senior officials and continued to ask questions. Be surprised or not, it worked. On Friday, City decided to “temporarily suspend” the adoption contract.
“We announced the partnership with ‘3Key’, but it has not been implemented in terms of products or services in any part of the world. In light of the club’s interactions with the company in recent days, Manchester City are now conducting further inquiries and currently the partnership has been suspended “, Said by the club. Who said an investigative press has passed away?