FTX Collapse And Sport Explained: Tom Brady’s Investment, Heat Arena Name Change At Center Of Crypto Exchange Bankruptcy

Seemingly out of nowhere, the conversation about cryptocurrency became inevitable, even in areas one would least expect. Take sports for example, where you wouldn’t expect there to be a direct connection between everything from Ethereum and Bitcoin to touchdowns and 3-pointers, and yet here we are.

Since the first week of November, major news in the cryptocurrency market has created an instant ripple effect on some of the most prominent athletes, franchises and leagues in esports.

FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that had a strong transition into the sports world, filed for bankruptcy, leaving several investors short.

If you’ve seen FTX hit your TV or timeline but aren’t peddling crypto yourself and wondering why athletes like Tom Brady and Stephen Curry are connected, you’ve come to the right place.

What is FTX?

By definition, FTX is “a cryptocurrency exchange that promotes liquidity and trading of coins and tokens.” In layman’s terms, it was a platform that allowed investors to buy, sell, and trade digital currencies.

FTX prided itself on its accessibility and ease with which new investors could get involved, which has been part of the company’s protagonist in the world of esports. FTX teamed up with well-known investors like Tom Brady and Stephen Curry and even used the two all-time greats in commercials to express the simplicity of the FTX platform for trading crypto.

FTX promised excitement with an accessible entry point into the often confusing world of cryptocurrency.

Who is Sam Bankman Fried?

The name at the center of FTX’s collapse is the company’s CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried.

Bankman-Fried reportedly used FTX client funds to trade through his own separate trading firm, Alameda Research.

This was significant because, according to CNBC, “the crypto exchange drastically underestimated the amount FTX needed to have on hand if someone wanted to withdraw funds, with the same cushion, if not more, in the event a user borrowed funds to to make a trade. FTX didn’t have nearly enough on hand.”

This brought FTX to the brink of bankruptcy until one of the company’s biggest competitors, Binance, was willing to scramble to acquire FTX to keep the business afloat. After reviewing FTX’s financials, Binance decided not to intervene.

Two days later, FTX crashed from a $32 billion cryptocurrency monster and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with reportedly $1 billion in customer funds disappearing.

FTX was by far the largest cryptocurrency exchange connected to the world of sports.

Let’s take a look at how it’s impacted some of its most prominent investors.

Tom Brady FTX investment

Brady and his partner Gisele Bundchen reportedly bought a stake in FTX and even appeared in commercials for the crypto exchange.

Since FTX’s bankruptcy announcement, Brady has done so He was reportedly cleaning his social media platforms any mention of the former crypto giant. This included deleting 15 tweets mentioning FTX, which were subsequently retweeted by Bankman-Fried, and changing his Twitter avatar from a laser eye photo (a crypto reference) to a statue of himself.

Stephen Curry FTX investment

In September 2021, Curry signed a partnership with FTX that gave him an equity stake in the company, and as you saw above, the company used the greatest shooter in NBA history as a global ambassador in its commercials and ads.

“I look forward to working with a company that is demystifying the crypto space and removing the intimidation factor for first-time users,” Curry said after signing the deal.

Curry’s team, the Golden State Warriors, have also been big investors in the space. FTX signed a $10 million sponsorship with the franchise showcasing the brand throughout its new Arena Chase Center, as well as the franchise’s G League team, the Santa Cruz Warriors, and NBA 2K League team, Warriors Gaming .

FTX collapse leads to Miami Heat arena name change

Just last year, the Heat signed a 19-year, $135 million (!) deal with FTX for the naming rights to their stadium – FTX Arena. Or should I say, formerly known as FTX Arena.

Following last week’s news, Miami-Dade County and The Heat issued a joint statement on FTX.

“The reports on FTX and its subsidiaries are extremely disappointing. Miami-Dade County and Miami HEAT are taking immediate action to terminate our relationship with FTX and we will work together to find a new arena naming rights partner. We are proud of the impact our Peace & Prosperity Plan – sponsored by County Commissioner Keon Hardemon and funded through the original Accord – is already having in preventing violence and creating opportunity for young people across Miami-Dade, and we look forward to finding a new partner to continue funding these important programs in the years to come.”

MLB’s official cryptocurrency exchange

In June 2021, Major League Baseball signed a deal with FTX to become the “MLB’s official cryptocurrency exchange brand.” The terms of the deal were never disclosed.

MLB turned its umpires into FTX billboards as part of the deal, calling FTX its “first-ever umpire unified patch partner.”

With the Astros recently crowned World Series champions and the 2022 season coming to a close, Major League Baseball has yet to make a statement on the matter.



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