FTX partners with MLB to become the first crypto exchange sponsor in professional sports

: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies watches as he hits a home run against the Washington Nationals during the second inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on June 22, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies during a game on June 22, 2021.

FTX is partnering with Major League Baseball to become the first cryptocurrency exchange sponsor in professional sports.

The partnership establishes FTX as the official cryptocurrency exchange brand of the baseball organization.

The latest initiative aims to increase brand awareness for FTX and to continue brand innovation for MLB. As part of the contract, FTX will be able to exercise worldwide marketing rights associated with MLB logos.

“It’s an honor for FTX to be the first cryptocurrency exchange to be associated with the history and tradition of America’s national pastime,” Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX founder and CEO, said in a statement Wednesday.

The financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

In addition, FTX.US, a US-regulated cryptocurrency exchange, will become MLB’s first-ever umpire uniform patch partner starting on July 13.

This isn’t the first time 29-year-old Bankman-Fried dipped his toe into sports.

Under his leadership, Blockfolio, the cryptocurrency app that FTX acquired in 2020, won naming rights to the NBA’s Miami Heat arena until 2040.

The $135-million deal, inked earlier this year, overtook American Airlines as the leading sponsor for the Florida sports team.

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Expected top NFL draft pick Trevor Lawrence reportedly signed an endorsement deal with crypto-investment app Blockfolio – and took his first payment in crypto tokens

Trevor Lawrence, the expected top pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft, has signed a multiyear deal with investment app Blockfolio and was paid exclusively in cryptocurrency, DealBook first reported Monday.

The first payment to football star was immediately transferred to his Blockfolio account. Future payments, however, are subject to whatever combination of dollars and cryptocurrency the former Clemson quarterback desires, according to DealBook.

Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed but a company spokesman revealed that the crypto signing bonus was already worth more on Sunday compared to when it was deposited on Friday.

The football player also made the announcement on Twitter, saying he is “pumped” to join the startup.

“We’re really trying to get our name out a lot,” Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, a crypto exchange that acquired Blockfolio, told Dealbook. “Trevor was excited about crypto. That’s what drew us to him.”

Bankman-Fried founded Blockfolio in 2019. Prior to that, the 29-year-old, a former trader at quant-trading firm Jane Street, started a crypto-trading firm called Alameda Research, which launched him to billionaire status.

Given that the cryptocurrency firm, which considers Coinbase as its rival, is relatively new, the company has been trying to partner with bigger brands to garner name recognition.

Under a recent $135-million deal, Blockfolio won naming rights to the NBA’s Miami Heat arena for 19 years, overtaking American Airlines as the leading sponsor for the Florida sports team.

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