The Golden State Warriors, of North American basketball’s NBA, have become the latest sports team to suspend their sponsorship deal with FTX while baseball’s MLB has sought legal advice over its partnership with the beleaguered cryptocurrency exchange.
The Warriors told ESPN it is “pausing all FTX-related promotional assets,” which includes in-arena branding and advertisements.
The deal between the two parties, signed in December 2021, was worth $10 million.
FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday (November 11) after a crypto price crash left the company unable to cover accounts as customers rushed to withdraw funds due to concerns being reported about its financial health.
The exchange reportedly saw $6 billion of withdrawals in the 72 hours up to November 8.
Also on Friday, NBA outfit the Miami Heat canceled their lucrative arena naming rights deal with FTX, while the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 motor racing team suspended its partnership with the firm.
Florida’s Miami-Dade County, owner of the Heat’s arena, signed a 19-year, $135-million deal for the bayfront homecourt’s name in 2021.
Mercedes signed a long-term sponsorship agreement with FTX last year under which its logo had featured on both of the team’s cars, on its drivers' clothing, on its fleet of trucks, in its garage, and on all partner logo displays in the trackside hospitality and communications facilities.
Furia, the Brazilian esports organization, has also terminated its sponsorship deal with FTX.
FTX’s precarious position has left its various sports partnerships at risk and led to the domino effect of rightsholders suspending or cutting ties with the exchange.
MLB, however, is yet to take any action over its own partnership with FTX but is consulting with its legal counsel on how to best proceed regarding the matter, according to SportTechie.
The league is reportedly “concerned and closely monitoring the situation.”
FTX became MLB’s first-ever cryptocurrency sponsor in June 2021 in a long-term agreement.
Through that deal, FTX became the first brand to have its logo patch feature on the uniforms of MLB umpires.
The company also has a sponsorship deal with the International Cricket Council, which is yet to make a decision on that tie-up.
FTX had additionally brought several high-profile sports athletes on board as investors, including NFL great Tom Brady, NBA star Stephen Curry, and Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka.
It spent a record $6.5 million for a 30-second advertising slot during this year’s NFL Super Bowl LVI.
A provisional deal for Binance to buy the troubled FTX was announced last week, but its rival cryptocurrency exchange pulled out of the deal as a result of corporate due diligence and additional reports regarding mishandled customer funds and alleged US agency investigations.
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