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A roundup of FTX’s sports deals that collapsed with the exchange

A roundup of FTX’s sports deals that collapsed with the exchange

A roundup of FTX’s sports deals that collapsed with the exchange
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By CNBCTV18.com Nov 23, 2022 1:25:11 PM IST (Published)

Most of the millions spent on marketing by FTX went into strategic partnerships with athletes, sporting clubs, as well as stadiums across the world. However, when FTX came crashing down, so did these deals. Here's a breakdown of the major FTX sports dealsthat have now ended or are close to it-

There are reports about how the whole FTX saga was conducted from a mansion in the Bahamas. Most of the millions spent on marketing by FTX went into strategic partnerships with sporting clubs, athletes as well as stadiums worldwide. When FTX came crashing down, so did these deals.

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This article provides a breakdown of the major sports deals of FTX that have now collapsed or are close to an end.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas
The premier Formula 1 racing team with big names such as Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and Toto Wolff had a long-term deal with FTX with undisclosed terms. The car itself had some FTX branding along with other merchandise. However, earlier this month, Mercedes announced that it ended the contract with FTX following the debacle.
The collaboration also resulted in an F1-themed NFT collection that now remains non-withdrawable after the bankruptcy. It counts as just another thing that didn’t go right for Mercedes after their forgettable season this year.
Miami Heat
This three-time champion American basketball team plays in the NBA championship. Their home stadium is known as the FTX Arena. Immediately after news broke out regarding FTX’s collapse, the team announced on Twitter that they’d be taking steps to end the FTX partnership. They will also be searching for a new sponsor to get the naming rights for the stadium. Miami Heat's partnership with FTX was significantly different considering that it was for 19 years, longer than all other FTX sporting deals, costing them a whopping $135 million.
Golden State Warriors
FTX had a multi-year deal with the Golden State Warriors worth around $10 million. The team, however, announced that it will be cutting all ties with FTX and will stop promoting or advertising any of FTX's products.
Major League Baseball
One of the top three most watched sports in the US, Major League Baseball had a partnership with FTX that included a branding display of the FTX logo on the shirts of umpires. There hasn’t been any conclusion of the partnership announced, but reports say that the umpire’s uniform won’t have the logo in the coming season. Baseball is one of the sports dominated by the US and one of the interests of FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried.
Athletes
The FTX marketing teams may have had a liking towards high-profile American athletes. The list included Tom Brady, Naomi Osaka, Steph Curry and Shaquille O’Neal, all of whom endorsed the brand in return for equity in the company. The sports stars have all been named in a class action lawsuit by the cheated investors for promoting the exchange.
Riot Games & eSports Teams
Riot Games is the studio behind the internet-favourite game League of Legends. FTX had signed a seven-year deal with the studio to sponsor their League of Legends Championship Series.
FTX also sponsored several esports teams, including Team SoloMid and the Brazilian team Furia. The teams have now distanced themselves from FTX, as both of these teams had short-term contracts only.
Almost surprisingly, the University of California Berkeley, too, had a deal with FTX for the naming rights of its stadium. The deal was worth a whopping $17.5 million for 10 years, to be paid all in crypto — a deal that also stands cancelled at the moment.
The repercussions of such sponsorship of sporting teams and icons are much more complex because of the kind of public goodwill they command. When a beloved celebrity or team endorses a brand, people assume there has been due diligence from them, or they use the services. When a company goes down, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of fans.
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