Crypto-exchange Gemini secures Oxford-Cambridge boat race sponsorship

Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by two former Olympic rowers, has secured a sponsorship arrangement with the Boat Race Company, the organiser of the annual race between Oxford and Cambridge universities.

The company, launched and granted an FCA Electronic Money Institution licence in the UK in 2020, specialises in the provision of secure transaction methods for individuals and organisations to buy, sell, store and earn cryptocurrencies.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who competed in the 2009 Beijing Olympic Finals and in the 2010 Blue Boat for the University of Oxford, founded Gemini in 2014.

Under the terms of the agreement, the 166th men’s and 75th women’s event, taking place on the River Great Ouse at Ely on 4 April, will be known as the ‘Gemini Boat Race,’ with the firm functioning as principal partner.

The partners intend to further develop rowing by engaging young people with limited access to the sport through The Gemini Boat Race Bursary Scheme. The £75,000 scheme will provide instruction and education to disadvantaged students via the Fulham Reach Boat Club, a registered charity that aims to remove the financial barriers that often prevent many from participating.

“Our experience in rowing taught us that whether you are building yourself as an athlete or building a startup, the power of big dreams together with conviction and perseverance cannot be underestimated,” remarked Cameron Winklevoss, who serves as President of Gemini.

“We are excited to support this historic event to go ahead safely and widen access to the sport through The Gemini Boat Race Bursary Scheme. Our hope for the Bursary Scheme is to enable more young people to explore the skills that rowing develops in and outside of the boat, including focus, confidence and teamwork.” 

Due to ongoing restrictions as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the boat race is taking place in Ely instead of London for the first time since the 1944 race during the Second World War. The contest has been held annually since 1829 and is one of the world’s most widely reocngised amaetur sporting events.

Gemini’s Head of UK, Blair Halliday, added: “As we continue to expand our presence in the UK, we’re thrilled to bring Gemini’s retail and institutional cryptocurrency services to new audiences as the Principal Partner of The Boat Race.”

Coverage of the event will be provided by the BBC, which will ‘leverage the power of technology to enable fans to enjoy the event at home and comply with all restrictions’.

“We are delighted to welcome Gemini as the Principal Partner of the Boat Race,” said Robert Gillespie, Chairman of the Boat Race Company.

“The fact that a global and innovative FinTech company is joining as a Boat Race partner at this time demonstrates a high level of trust and confidence in the careful planning and work that BRCL and local stakeholders have put in over the past few months to stage an event that is fully compliant with COVID safety regulations and therefore closed to the public.”