FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange platform, has agreed a “first-of-its-kind” deal with the Golden State Warriors, of North American basketball’s NBA, for international rights as the team’s official cryptocurrency platform and non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace.
Through what has been reported by CNBC to be a multi-year deal worth $10 million, FTX becomes the San Francisco team’s first international rights partner.
The Warriors will release NFTs on the FTX US crypto investing platform from early 2022, and the two parties will have rights to use each other’s brands globally.
FTX will also benefit from branding on the basket pole pads and press table for the Santa Cruz Warriors, the Warriors’ G League affiliate, on the court during NBA 2K League games of its Warriors Gaming Squad esports team and on live streams of its other esports brands.
To commemorate the partnership, the Warriors and FTX will also gift a Bitcoin each to three Bay Area non-profit organisations working on educational equity.
FTX already has ties to the San Francisco-based franchise after Stephen Curry recently took an equity stake in the firm and became its global ambassador as part of a long-term partnership.
The tie-up is not the Warriors’ first foray into crypto, having released an NFT collection earlier this year, while they also claim the record for all-time highest sports NFT sale.
The FTX deal follows the renewal of Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce giant, as the Warriors’ jersey patch sponsor last month.
FTX, meanwhile, is making a concerted push into the sports world, most recently with the purchase of an advertisement during the NFL’s showpiece Super Bowl in February next year.
Among its other notable deals are an arena naming rights partnership with the Miami Heat, a sponsorship of North America’s Major League Baseball and a sponsorship of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team, of motor racing’s prestigious Formula 1 series.
Brandon Schneider, president and chief operating officer of the Golden State Warriors, said: “Cryptocurrency has a well-established worldwide community and is going to continue to be a major part of the sports, media and entertainment industries. In our conversations with FTX, we quickly realised our joint desire to innovate around cryptocurrency integration and adoption, including the role NFTs play in global fan engagement.”
Brett Harrison, president of FTX US, added: “The FTX US NFT platform will provide a leading, safe and secure venue for the Warriors’ international fan base to access exclusive collectables from the franchise. Alongside the NFT drops, working with the Warriors will increase our ability to create a positive change, not only domestically but internationally, with one of the most prestigious professional sport franchises in the world.”