Golden State Warriors Joins List of Sports Franchises Cutting FTX Ties
The NBA team is the latest sports franchise to cut ties with the now-bankrupt FTX, which splurged big money on sports sponsorships.
The Golden State Warriors is set to pause all FTX-related promotions, ending its $10 million sponsorship agreement with the exchange inked back in December 2021.
The news comes after numerous sports franchises dropped their association with FTX over the past week, following a complex series of events that led to the multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday.
Rival NBA team Miami Heat also cut ties with the failed exchange over the weekend, putting its 19-year and $135 million sponsorship agreement to an end after renaming its flagship stadium FTX Arena in June 2021.
Reports have circulated on social media that FTX’s namesake logo is already being removed from the arena.
But it’s not just the basketball world distancing itself from the FTX brand.
Mercedes announced it would immediately remove FTX logos from its Formula One cars on Friday. At the same time, Brazilian esports organization FURIA, which had previously inked a sponsorship deal with FTX, began removing all the relevant branding earlier this week.
Not all recipients of FTX money have caught ties yet; North American esports organization Team SoloMid (TSM), for example, has yet to amend its branding or make an official statement.
The team is still officially known as “TSM FTX” following its 10-year $210 million naming rights deal announced on June 4, 2021.
Crypto, sports and marketing
The past years have seen the crypto world pour vast sums of money into pro sports, and while FTX’s level of spending did appear high, it was by no means unusual.
According to an August report by Bloomberg, crypto firms spent $2.4 billion on sports marketing in the past 18 months.
Crypto.com has emerged as one of the highest spenders on advertising in recent years, at least in mainstream sports.
In July 2021, the crypto platform signed a kit sponsorship with the UFC, becoming the MMA organization’s largest sponsor in a deal worth $175 million over 10 years, according to CNBC.
Crypto.com also opted for a $100 million sponsorship deal with the auto racing league Formula 1 and is set to sponsor the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.