FTX Buys Naming Rights to Another Sports Venue

The leading crypto exchange has purchased naming rights to the football field at California Memorial Stadium.

Photo: Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • FTX has struck a 10-year, $17.5 million naming rights deal with the University of California.
  • The football field will now be known as FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium.
  • Learfield, the multimedia rightsholder of Cal Athletics, will accept payment in cryptocurrency on behalf of the university.

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The deal is FTX’s latest big move in a series of partnerships with sports organizations. 

Enter FTX Field

FTX, one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry, has struck yet another partnership deal with a sports organization, the company’s CEO Sam Bankman-Fried announced Monday.

This time, FTX has acquired the naming rights to the University of California’s football field, now to be called FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium. The company—often dubbed “the everything exchange” by industry insiders—purchased the stadium’s naming rights in a 10-year contract worth $17.5 million. 

Commenting on the landmark deal, FTX.US’s COO Sina Nader, who earned his bachelor’s degree in legal studies from the University of California and played football for the Golden Bears during his time there, said:

“We’re excited to partner with one of the world’s great universities and expand crypto’s presence into the collegiate athletics landscape. This historic partnership will also allow us to collaborate on charitable initiatives that align with our organization’s core values.” 

“Personally, I am excited to work alongside my alma mater to collaborate with local communities around a variety of causes,” he added. He also confirmed that FTX is committing $200,000 to fight homelessness in Berkeley and support organizations that help underrepresented student groups at UC Berkeley. 

Interestingly, Learfield, the multimedia rightsholder of Cal Athletics, will accept payment in cryptocurrency on behalf of the University of California. In addition to naming rights, the partnership will feature new on-field branding, social integration, and a collaborative philanthropic service platform launch. Expounding on the partnership, Cal Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said:

“We believe we have found a great partner in FTX… This agreement extends well beyond field naming rights, which is part of our strategic plan to diversify revenue streams in support of our student-athlete experience, and includes commitments for our Cameron Institute, Cal Veterans and students in need here in Berkeley. We are looking forward to building our relationship now and in the years ahead.”

FTX’s deal with Cal Memorial Stadium is only the latest in a series of partnerships with sports organizations. In June, the exchange—currently valued at $18 billion—struck a $135 million deal to gain the naming rights for the home court of the renowned NBA team Miami Heat, now called FTX Arena, a five-year sponsorship deal with Major League Baseball, and a $210 million, 10-year naming rights deal with esports team SoloMid.

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