Sports: The Key to US Investors for FTX Crypto Exchange
One unlikely friendship that has been blossoming as of late is the one between sports and the crypto world, producing an unforeseen flurry of activity that is taking the world by storm.
As cryptocurrencies and digital assets surged in popularity around the world, they first dominated the more secretive spheres and forums in the corners of the internet, being only of interest to an internet whiz or a finance aficionado. Since then, however, they have grown to overtake the world of pop, celebrity, and mainstream by storm.
One such example of this is the crypto exchange FTX’s foray into the world of sports, which is transforming it from an exchange that caters mostly to Asian clients to one that is slowly but surely making its way into the United States. Nicknamed the “Steve Jobs of crypto,” founder and chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried established FTX back in 2017 out of Hong Kong in order to bypass stringent US regulation laws. Bankman-Fried has been making waves in the crypto industry for a couple of years now, even bringing to the scene what is being referred to as “Sam coins”.
“Built for traders by traders,” FTX is a major challenger to Coinbase and Ethereum, working to beat them at their own game by offering upgraded, sophisticated derivatives products such as futures, options, tokenized stocks, and leveraged tokens. Just last month, FTX managed to garner a valuation of $18 billion, exemplifying investors’ enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies. FTX has now gone all-in on the American market, pinpointing the sports industry as the ideal access point into this market.
Making a mind-blowing move into the sports arena, FTX recently announced that it would be sponsoring Major League Baseball (MLB), becoming the first cryptocurrency exchange to sponsor in professional US sports. As part of the deal, MLB umpire uniforms will have an FTX logo patch. Another marker of brand awareness and equity, FTX also bought 19-year naming rights to the home of the NBA’s Miami Heat for $135 million; it will now be known as the FTX Arena.
To learn more about FTX’s MLB sponsorship, check out this video:
Another clever endeavor by FTX into the world of sports was their recent $210 million deal giving them naming rights to the esports organization TSM. The gaming organization is now known as TSM FTX, and all TSM players and employees will receive crypto from FTX as part of the deal — this effectively has converted all those people into future clients for the company. Alongside his voracious appetite for risk, Bankman-Fried appears to know exactly when to knock it out of the park.
FTX has also hired the former lead counsel for the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, Ryne Miller as its general counsel. Miller will primarily be working “to ensure FTX.US remains responsive to, and compliant with, emerging U.S. and global regulatory policies”. This hire added more fuel than ever to rumors that FTX was making its way into the hearts and wallets of America.
One thing is clear, the worlds of DeFi, sports, and cryptocurrency have found themselves in a sweet spot that has generated hundreds of millions of dollars and is sure to keep paying off.