NBA team Golden State Warriors are the latest sports entity to join the FTX US roster of sponsorships. The cryptocurrency exchange will become the team’s official cryptocurrency platform and manage a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace for the sale of Warrior’s digital assets.
According to CNBC, the deal amounted to $10 million. It will also give FTX global brand exposure through brand placement with in-arena logos. Additionally, it will be promoted through the Warriors G League, NBA 2K esports team, and virtual floor logos when Warrior’s home games are being streamed on TV.
This is not FTX’s first sponsorship in the NBA. It signed a 19-year $135 million naming rights deal with the Miami Heat arena earlier this year. Outside of basketball, FTX entered into one of the biggest cryptocurrency sports deals to date, becoming the official cryptocurrency exchange of the MLB.
With partnerships across multiple sports, FTX is making an effort to become the crypto name associated with sports. For an industry trying to expand and reach new audiences, sport’s diverse market and global outreach is an obvious bet for investment.
Of course, it’s not a straight line to success. FTX has competition as Crypto.com signed a $700 million arena naming rights deal with AEG to rebrand the Los Angeles’ Staples Center for 20 years.
In addition, both Barcelona and Manchester City withdrew from crypto sponsorships because of issues associated with their sponsors. These deals are in no way associated with FTX, but developments like these damage the whole industry’s reputation because they reinforce concerns surrounding the crypto industry.
On the other hand, FTX is trying to offer more to clubs and fans than a sports sponsorship. The Warriors have an established track record in the NFT sector as one of the first teams in the NBA to drop a collection earlier this year. The club also claims to hold the record for all-time highest sports NFT sale, of almost $900,000. Three non-profits each received one Bitcoin from FTX and the Warriors to address educational inequity.
“Cryptocurrency has a well-established worldwide community and is going to continue to be a major part of the sports, media and entertainment industries,” said Warriors President and COO Brandon Schneider. “In our conversations with FTX, we quickly realized our joint desire to innovate around cryptocurrency integration and adoption, including the role NFTs play in global fan engagement.”
Meanwhile, FTX partnered with Dolphin earlier this year to launch an NFT marketplace designed to go mainstream. MLB all-star Shohei Ohtani joined FTX as a brand ambassador, and cryptocurrency exchange Bybit is sponsoring Argentina’s national football team.