New name coming in hot (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Chilling in Miami with the heat… Not enjoying the Florida sunshine: FTX. The bankrupt crypto exchange had signed a 19-year, $135M deal for naming rights to the Miami Heat’s home arena last year. Now Miami-Dade County and its NBA team say they’re “immediately taking action” to end their relationship with FTX. The exchange had paid $14M up front and was scheduled to make a $5.5M payment in January.
From the NBA to the MLB… FTX has a stacked portfolio of sports sponsorships. Last year, Major League Baseball signed a five-year deal to name FTX its official crypto-exchange partner (think: FTX.us patches on umpire uniforms).
Crypto has covered its bases… in sports. Crypto brands spent $130M+ on NBA sponsorships alone last season, up from ~$2M in the previous season. Five crypto companies — including FTX, Crypto.com, and Coinbase — were responsible for 92% of NBA sponsorship spending in the crypto category. Crypto.com’s Lakers’ stadium-naming deal alone is reportedly worth $700M. But now that the Enron-style “naming-rights curse” has hit FTX, sports orgs might need to cover their bases too.