Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has taken an equity stake in FTX and been named an ambassador of the cryptocurrency exchange platform.
The long-term partnership is aimed at “bringing women onto the platform and into the future of Web3” (the concept of a decentralized internet), with Osaka to wear the brand’s logo during competitions, beginning with the Miami Open (March 21 to April 3), and help produce content aimed at young women.
She becomes one of the first major female professional athletes to partner with FTX and joins the likes of NFL great Tom Brady and NBA star Stephen Curry as an ambassador for the platform.
FTX has a host of other sporting partnerships, including the likes of Major League Baseball, the Mercedes Formula 1 racing team, the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, and esports organization Nerd Street Gamers.
Osaka, a multiple grand slam winner and champion of various social causes, said: “Cryptocurrencies started with the goal of being accessible to everyone and breaking down barriers to entry. I'm excited to partner with FTX to get back to that mission and to innovate on new ways to reach more people and further democratize the space.”
Sam Bankman-Fried, chief executive of FTX, added: “Just as FTX is at the forefront of crypto markets, we want to be at the forefront of social change. Our partnership with Naomi Osaka will further our goal of getting more diverse voices involved in the future of digital currency and Web3. I am excited to work with Naomi as we look to educate those groups and create a positive impact in the world.”
Elsewhere, the British tennis player Emma Raducanu has been named as a brand ambassador for the high-performance car manufacturer Porsche.
In the role, 19-year-old Raducanu, who shot to fame by reaching the last 16 at the Wimbledon grand slam in 2021 before going on to win the US Open grand slam, will represent Porsche worldwide.
She becomes an ambassador, alongside the likes of the German tennis player Angelique Kerber and German soccer player Sami Khedira.
Raducanu has signed a host of deals since her US Open triumph, including with UK air carrier British Airways as well as with Tiffany, Dior and Evian.
Raducanu said: “Porsche is one of the brands I’ve always loved from a young age … It’s really important for me to align with partners and brands that I really feel passionate about and that I identify with. I think this partnership with Porsche is incredible, and obviously I’m really excited to see what sort of exciting things we can do going forwards.”
Oliver Blume, chairman of the executive board at Porsche, added: “[Emma] embodies not only a new generation of strong and self-confident players but, as a personality, is also an inspiration and role model beyond the realms of her sport for young women all over the world.
“Through her own life, she exemplifies that one can achieve one’s goals if one believes in oneself and is prepared to work hard. She’s, therefore, an excellent fit for Porsche and the values for which the company stands.”