FTX Strikes Sponsorship Deal With MLB, Umpires to Wear Crypto Exchange's Logo

Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX is doubling down on sports sponsorships.

AccessTimeIconJun 23, 2021 at 1:46 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:15 p.m. UTC

Fresh on the heels of the unveiling of the FTX Arena in Miami, the crypto exchange is becoming the “Official Cryptocurrency Exchange brand of MLB,” FTX and Major League Baseball said in an announcement Wednesday.

The data-minded traders at FTX crunched the numbers and found sports naming rights to yield the best return on investment for their marketing spending, a source with knowledge of the matter told CoinDesk. Earlier this month, FTX reached a $210 million naming-rights deal with esports team TSM. 

Under the baseball deal, FTX branding will appear on all umpire uniforms starting at the All-Star Game in Denver on July 13 and continue into the postseason. MLB is calling FTX its “first-ever umpire uniform patch partner.” An MLB spokesman said images of the patch are not yet available.

“FTX.COM and FTX.US are excited to enter this first-of-its-kind partnership with Major League Baseball,” FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said in the statment. “We look forward to announcing further details of our long-term partnership throughout the remainder of this year."

In a tweet, Bankman-Fried said FTX and MLB have plans on "collaborating on products and experiences together." The deal includes a provision with the MLB Players Association to "use highlights of players in content creation," according to Wednesday’s press release.

Naming rights for the Miami Heat arena went for $135 million in a 19-year deal. Financial terms of the MLB sponsorship weren't disclosed, though an FTX spokesman told CoinDesk it’s a five-year deal.

Calls to the MLB Players Association were not returned by press time.

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