Crypto.com, the international cryptocurrency platform, has agreed a 20-year naming rights deal for Los Angeles' iconic Staples Center worth a reported $700 million.
The deal, agreed with the arena’s owner-operator AEG, the US sports and entertainment company, and brokered by the AEG Global Partnerships subsidiary, will see the venue become the Crypto.com Arena when it takes effect from 25 December.
The $700-million agreement is believed to be the biggest US venue naming rights deal to date.
In addition, Crypto.com will become an official cryptocurrency platform partner of the Los Angeles Lakers, of North American basketball’s NBA, and the LA Kings, of ice hockey’s NHL, both of which call the 20,000-seat arena home, along with the NBA’s LA Clippers and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.
Indeed, earlier this year, the Lakers agreed a 20-year lease extension to continue playing at the arena.
Office retail company Staples has held naming rights to the arena since it opened in October 1999. In 2009, AEG had agreed a lifetime deal with Staples in a first-of-its-kind agreement.
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As the venue's exclusive naming rights partner, Crypto.com will benefit from branding exposure and engagement opportunities for the more than four million annual visitors to its 240 major yearly events, which include sports, concerts, family entertainment and award shows like the Grammys.
The Crypto.com brand will feature on large-scale, premium signage both inside and outside the arena, while there are activation opportunities on the 3,300 sq ft space at its entrance, the main concourse and across the adjoining L.A. Live campus.
The arena’s new logo, internal signage and other assets will be launched at the LA Lakers vs. Brooklyn Nets game on Christmas Day, with all external signing scheduled to have been replaced by June 2022.
This deal is the latest in a string of high-profile tie-ups that Crypto.com has agreed over the last 12 months, including with the prestigious Formula 1 motor racing series, mixed martial arts’ Ultimate Fighting Championship, French soccer heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain, the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.
The Singapore-based firm's sports sponsorship deals are believed to be worth more than $400 million.
The scale and profile of this latest deal demonstrates the increasing influence of Crypto.com – and cryptocurrency platforms in general – in sports sponsorship, with the firm joining FTX as a title sponsor in the NBA and Socios recently partnering with the New England Patriots in an NFL first.
Conrad Wiacek, head of sport analysis at GloblaData, commented: “Crypto.com’s $700-million deal to become title sponsor of one of the most iconic arenas in US Sports, as well as partnerships with the LA Lakers and LA Kings, reinforces the fact that cryptocurrency and blockchain companies will be the most significant growth area for sports sponsorships over the next decade.
“Even though GlobalData Sport predicted that cryptocurrency firms would break through and become part of the pandemic recovery for the sports industry, the rate and size of the partnerships in the sector is eye-opening with cryptocurrency firms taking on significant partnerships with iconic properties for vast fees.”
The deal between Crypto.com and AEG is said to have been eased and quickened through a “mutual understanding of each other’s businesses”, with negotiations led by Crypto.com’s chief marketing officer Steven Kalifowitz, its senior vice president of marketing Gilad Rodkin and AEG Global Partnerships’ co-chief operating officers Nick Baker and Russell Silvers.
Of the deal, Crypto.com co-founder and chief executive Kris Marszalek said: “We’re very excited about partnering with AEG and investing long term in this city, starting with Crypto.com Arena in the heart of downtown, and using our platform in new and creative ways so that cryptocurrency can power the future of world-class sports, entertainment and technology for fans in LA and around the world.”
Todd Goldstein, chief revenue officer of AEG, added: “This partnership represents the fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform and the biggest sports and live entertainment company in the world converging to drive the future of sports and live entertainment as well as the incredible legacy of this arena for decades to come.
"It marks an exciting new chapter in the history of our company and our respective industries, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a visionary partner like Crypto.com supporting our global fan base and local community.”