FTX Signs $17.5M Deal to Sponsor UC-Berkeley Athletic Department

Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto exchange has signed its first college sports sponsorship deal, with the payment in this case to be made in crypto.

AccessTimeIconAug 23, 2021 at 3:29 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:43 p.m. UTC

FTX.US, the U.S. affiliate of crypto exchange FTX, has signed a $17.5 million, 10-year agreement with Cal Athletics, the athletic department of the University of California, Berkeley, for the naming rights to the field at California Memorial Stadium.

  • The field will be known as the “FTX Field” at the California Memorial Stadium and is FTX.US’ first college-related cryptocurrency naming rights sponsorship. The Berkeley campus is the flagship campus of the University of California system.
  • Cal Athletics’ multimedia rights holder Learfield will accept the payment in cryptocurrency on behalf of the university. 
  • FTX has been on a sports and e-sports sponsorship spending spree this year. In March, the exchange secured the naming rights to the home arena of NBA team Miami Heat for a reported $135 million, while in June, the exchange paid $210 million to acquire the naming rights for e-sports organization TSM.
  • The latest deal involves FTX featuring its branding on press backdrops and launching a platform with Cal Athletics to support philanthropic projects. 
  • FTX has a connection to Cal Athletics through Chief Operating Officer Sina Nader, who is a Cal alumnus and was a walk-on member of the football team. "We're excited to partner with one of the world's great universities  and expand crypto's presence into the collegiate athletics landscape," Nader said in a press release.


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