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What is FTX? How is Tom Brady involved in the crypto firm's big push into sports?

Super Bowl LV
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ANALYST

Tom Brady is the latest sports icon to sign a sponsorship deal with crypto company FTX.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers star and his wife, Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, inked an endorsement deal with crypto exchange FTX, which will see them receive equity in the company. The celebrity couple will work as ambassadors for the crypto exchange, according to the company's press release last month.

“Tom and Gisele are both legends and they both reached the pinnacle of what they do,” Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and chief executive officer of FTX, said in an interview. “When we think about what FTX represents, we want to be the best product that is out there.”

What is FTX?

FTX has become one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges since its launch two years ago. It was founded with the goal of donating to charity and has so far earmarked over $10 million as charitable funds.

Its website states that it's a cryptocurrency exchange built by traders, for traders. The company has been spending big on sports partnerships over the last six months.

FTX's legion of sports deals

FTX became the first cryptocurrency exchange to sponsor a professional sports league when it signed a five-year deal with Major League Baseball in June.

The contract includes worldwide marketing rights and exposure across MLB’s broadcast, digital and social platforms. The FTX logo will appear on MLB's umpire uniforms starting this year’s All-Star Game.

Noah Garden, MLB’s chief revenue officer, had this to say about the deal:

“This is an incredibly exciting announcement for everyone in Major League Baseball as we partner with a global leader in the early stages of their unbelievable growth. FTX quickly cultivated itself into a worldwide leader in the ever-evolving cryptocurrency industry and continues to build on its already impressive reputation. Our fans have been early adopters in using new technologies to engage with our game.”

FTX also minted a multi-year naming rights deal with US esports organization Team SoloMid (TSM.) The deal is reportedly worth $210 million, making it the largest of its kind in competitive gaming history.

“We're really excited to work with TSM. Their team has gone above and beyond both in-game and out, and rightfully established itself as the premier team in esports,” said Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and chief executive of FTX.com and FTX.US.

In March, the crypto exchange became the naming rights sponsor of NBA franchise Miami Heat's arena.

The face of sports sponsorship is changing with the emergence of crypto currency companies splashing their cash in 2021. FTX has just opened the door. There could be a few more along the way.

Edited by Colin D'Cunha
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