Lakers’ Staples Center renamed Crypto.com Arena in largest naming rights deal in history, worth $ 700 million
A few months ago, when the FTX exchange shelled $ 135 million to change the name of the Miami Heat stadium, many marveled at how much cryptocurrency companies were willing to promote their brands. Now, Crypto.com has dwarfed this deal by shelling out five times more to rename the iconic Staples Center in what is the largest naming rights deal in U.S. history.
The cryptocurrency exchange has reached an agreement to change the name of the Staples Center to Crypto.com Arena. It has reached an agreement with AEG, the sports and live entertainment giant, whereby the exchange will hold the naming rights to the stadium for the next two decades.
The Staples Center is one of the most famous and iconic sports and entertainment stadiums in the world. It is best known for being the home of the LA Lakers, the most popular NBA team in the world, in which legends such as Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and Lebron James have played.
In addition to the Lakers, the 20,000-seat downtown Los Angeles stadium is home to the NBA’s LA Clippers, the NHL’s LA Kings and the WNBA’s LA Sparks. It also hosts some of the biggest events in the world, like 19 of the last 21 Grammy Awards ceremonies and NBA All-Star games.
The partnership will begin on Christmas Day this year, and Crypto.com will introduce the new logo and other brand assets that day, just before Lebron leads the Lakers when they host the Brooklyn Nets. The external signage will be replaced in June next year.
Crypto.com, Coinbase and FTX invest billions in sports
In addition to the brand, Crypto.com will also become the official cryptocurrency platform partner of the Lakers and LA Kings. Kris Marszalek, CEO and founder of the exchange, believes this will go a long way toward driving cryptocurrency adoption in Los Angeles and beyond.
Speaking to the LA Times, he stated:
In the years to come, people will remember this time as the time when crypto crossed the chasm into the mainstream. This is a brilliant move from the guys at AEG, because the next decade belongs to crypto. And this puts Los Angeles and this particular place right in the center of it.
Crypto.com and AEG, which is the world’s largest owner of sports teams and events, will also partner to promote sustainability and community engagement in the Los Angeles community.
According to sports news outlet The Athletic, Crypto.com will pay $ 700 million for the naming rights, the most money an organization has ever disbursed for such a deal. This shows not only how important branding is to cryptocurrency companies, but also how much they are thriving in today’s environment.
And this might just be the beginning, believes Steve Mitobe, CEO of blockchain development agency WestCoastNFT.
More and more cryptocurrency companies will be seen in the space competing for market share with traditional advertising and endorsement deals.
The $ 700 million is in addition to other sports associations that Crypto.com has participated in in recent times. Among them, the 175 million dollars he paid to Endeavor, the company that owns the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC).
He has also struck multi-million dollar deals with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), esports brand Fnatics, Italian Serie A, and Formula 1, among others.
Prior to the $ 700 million deal, FTX was the largest investor in this line of advertising with its $ 135 million deal for 19 years of naming rights with the NBA franchise Miami Heat. The naming rights to the team’s stadium had been bought by American Airlines for the previous two decades, but starting this year, FTX took over. As CEO Sam Bankman-Fried revealed at an industry event, the company paid the entire sum up front, unlike other sponsors who pay by the year.
To confirm how well FTX was doing, the young billionaire founder of the cryptocurrency told the event that “… it’s been a pretty good year for us. To the point where, frankly, we don’t need to depend on the other 18 years to have the funds for this. “
FTX also spent $ 210 million to purchase the naming rights to an esports team known as TSM and $ 18 million for the naming rights to the Cal Berkeley football team’s stadium.
All this to enhance brand awareness. According to SBF, its exchange lags in brand recognition behind companies like Coinbase and Kraken, despite rivaling them in trading volume.
“There has been some user growth, but we are really behind in name recognition. […] When someone is looking to get involved in cryptocurrencies for the first time, we have discovered that they have not heard of FTX, ”he stated earlier this year.
Last month, Coinbase also jumped on the sports bandwagon. The deal allows Coinbase to leverage all NBA platforms to market its brand, including the WNBA and the esports league NBA 2K League.