The International Cricket Council, the sport’s global governing body, has brought in FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange firm, as a worldwide commercial partner in a multi-year deal starting immediately.
FTX will be tying in with all major ICC events for the next two years as the official cryptocurrency partner, starting with the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which begins in the United Arab Emirates and Oman on 17 October, and running through until the finale of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India.
Other events that the partnership will cover include the Women’s Cricket World Cup, the Women’s T20 World Cup and the Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and chief executive of FTX, has now said: “Cricket is a long-established sport with a deep history and ties that go back generations … [whereas] cryptocurrency is still in its infancy. However, to me, this partnership represents the marriage of those two concepts. It is an honour to be a part of the men’s and women’s cricket tournaments and we look forward to building a strong relationship with the International Cricket Council in the years to come.”
Anurag Dahiya, the ICC’s chief commercial officer, added: “FTX has successfully established itself in a very dynamic sector as one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges … We look forward to working together on opportunities to engage fans in exciting new ways throughout our events.”
Late last month, the ICC entered into a similar two-year strategic partnership, with worldwide fintech firm Nium.
Nium, based in Singapore, will receive branding and logo rights across both broadcast and digital ICC platforms during matches at the aforementioned tournaments, and will also “execute unique fan and client activations” at the events.
The firm is based in Singapore, but also has offices in the cricketing hotspots of India and Australia.
Indian investment platform Upstox is another technology company to have struck a deal with cricket’s governing body this year, becoming an ICC partner in June, again in a tie-up until after the 2023 World Cup.
FTX, meanwhile, has made a significant entry into the sports market this year, most notably in the US by signing an arena naming rights deal with the Miami Heat, of basketball’s NBA, and a long-term sponsorship agreement with baseball’s MLB.
Last month, it also secured a lucrative new 10-year stadium naming rights deal with the University of California and entered the esports scene by becoming the official cryptocurrency exchange partner of the League of Legends Championship Series in a seven-year tie-up with developer Riot Games.
The two-year ICC partnership represents its first attempt to make room for itself in the Asia-dominated cricket sponsorship market.