First it was crypto derivatives FTX jumping into the game in Miami. Now Singapore-based Crypto.com has stepped it up a notch by dropping more than US$700 million to rename the iconic Staples Center in Los Angeles to Crypto.com Arena for 20 years, according to the Los Angeles Times.
- This figure makes it one of the biggest naming deals in sports history — dwarfing the US$100 million Staples Inc. paid in 1997 for the naming rights — and is another sign the crypto industry is gaining traction in the mainstream. The Staples Center — as it will remain until the official name change on Dec. 25 — is home to many national sporting teams, the Lakers, Clippers and Sparks basketball teams, and the ice hockey team the Kings. Crypto.com also signed on to be both the Lakers’ and Kings’ official crypto partner.
- The complete rebranding will include a dedicated “activation space” that will host immersive crypto-related experiences.
- Crypto.com is one of the largest exchanges in Asia, with a significant Visa cryptocurrency card program. It has gone on a marketing blitz of late, signing partnership deals with the UCF, Formula 1 racing, soccer teams in Italy and France, as well as with Twitch Rivals, the live streaming service’s esports category — just in the past year. The firm has also just launched a global marketing campaign featuring actor Matt Damon.
- Fellow exchange FTX paid US$135 million in March for the 19-year naming rights of the home stadium of East Coast basketball team the Miami Heat. More recently, Singapore-based derivatives cryptocurrency exchange Bybit announced it is the new main global sponsor of the Argentina National Soccer team, according to a statement shared with Forkast.News.
- Amid the rush for crypto firms to enter into marketing partnerships, evidence suggests it is a worthwhile investment. According to a Morning Consult poll released in September, respondents who identified as “avid sports fans” were almost three times as likely to be at least somewhat familiar with cryptocurrency than “non-sports fans,” and were more than 1.5 times more likely than the average population.