LA’s Staples Center is changing its name to Arena in a reported $700 million deal

The Staples Center exterior
The Staples Center exterior in Los Angeles in November 2021

  • Los Angeles’ Staples Center sports venue — home to the Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks — will be renamed Arena.
  • The crypto exchange paid more than $700 million for the 20-year naming rights, the LA Times reported.
  • With the renaming, which kicks in December 25, the Singapore-based company follows marketing moves by the likes of FTX.

Los Angeles’ storied Staples Center sports venue is getting a new name — Arena.

The Singapore-based crypto platform scored the marketing slam-dunk by signing a deal with the venue’s owner AEG for 20-year naming rights, the companies said Tuesday.

On December 25, the official home of NBA team Los Angeles Lakers will change its logo and in-arena signage for its face-off with the Brooklyn Nets.

Three other professional sports teams — the NBA’s LA Clippers, the NHL’s LA Kings and WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks — also host their games in the stadium, which has been called the “Staples Center” since it opened in 1999. shelled out more than $700 million for the rights, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing sources familiar with the terms. That price tag makes it one of the most expensive renaming deals in sports history, it said.

“In the next few years, people will look back at this moment as the moment when crypto crossed the chasm into the mainstream,” CEO Kris Marszalek said, according to the report.

As part of the deal, signed up the Lakers and the Kings as official partners. The crypto exchange and NFT marketplace has been on a marketing blitz, and it recently enlisted Hollywood actor Matt Damon for a branding campaign to drive growth from its existing 10 million users.

Other crypto companies are tapping the world of sports to lift their profile. Sam Bankman-Fried’s exchange FTX snapped up naming rights for the Miami Heat’s stadium in a $135 million deal, and bought an ad for the 2022 Super Bowl, in an aggressive marketing campaign.

“Sports fans are 2x more likely to know about crypto than nonsports fans,” FTX CEO Bankman-Fried has said. “Avid sports fans are nearly 3x as likely.”

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Steve Ballmer joins the $100 billion club after Microsoft’s stock gains give the ex-CEO’s wealth a big boost

Former Microsoft CEO & LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.
Former Microsoft CEO & LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.

A jump in Steve Ballmer’s net worth has landed the former Microsoft CEO a spot in the exclusive $100 billion club, spurred by gains for the software-maker’s shares this year.

Ballmer’s fortune has risen to a hefty $101 billion, making him the ninth person to reach that level of wealth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires’ Index. The 65-year-old American businessman’s fortune grew by $20 billion this year alone.

Windows-maker Microsoft last month became the second US-listed company ever to hit a $2 trillion valuation, second only to Apple in reaching that milestone. Its shares have gained 25% year-to-date, outperforming tech peers Apple and Amazon.

A self-described “loyal dude” who still owns Microsoft stock, Ballmer is estimated to own a 4% stake in the company, or about 333 million shares, according to Bloomberg.

Ballmer, who joined Microsoft as its 30th employee in 1980, stepped down as CEO in 2014 after 14 years in the role. Over the years, he acquired a reputation in the tech community for being eccentric and high-energy.

He now owns the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, valued at $2.6 billion, and is involved in philanthropy with his wife, Connie.

Seven members of the $100 billion club have seen their fortunes surge this year, led by a rally in tech shares. Jeff Bezos, who stepped down as Amazon’s CEO on July 5, has gained the most. His net worth has risen above $200 billion, making him the richest person in the world.

The nine members of the elite club have together added about $245 billion to their wealth pile since the start of 2021, giving them a collective worth of $1.36 trillion, according to Bloomberg.

Read More: It’s coming home: Deutsche Bank breaks down the 3 ways the UK economy will benefit from UEFA Euros soccer

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