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Topline

Major League Baseball confirmed on Thursday that it has ended its sponsorship with FTX following the “jarring” failure of the cryptocurrency exchange, the latest ripple effect in the sports industry after the once-lucrative sponsor went under flames

The MLB and FTX partnership lasted less than two seasons. See the article : “The Gray Man” is just ahead of “The Kissing Booth 3” as Netflix’s fifth best debut film.

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Key Facts

FTX became the “official cryptocurrency exchange brand of MLB” last summer, and MLB umpires will wear FTX logo patches on their uniforms from July 2021 through the World Series that ended earlier this month . See the article : Update: Green Bay Packers Roster Projection 3.1.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters on Thursday that FTX is no longer a league sponsor and umpires will no longer adorn its logo, saying that “FTX’s development was a little disconcerting” and promising that the league ” will proceed with caution in the future.”

MLB wasn’t the only sports company snakebit by its association with FTX, which filed for bankruptcy last week and ousted its billionaire founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, as the company invested millions of dollars in other sports companies.

FTX became the title sponsor of the NBA’s Miami Heat home arena in March 2021 in a $135 million deal, sponsored the University of California, Berkeley’s home football stadium last August for $17.5 million and struck a $210 million naming rights deal with the world’s most valuable eSports. the TSM organization last June (all three organizations terminated their agreements with FTX after the bankruptcy).

The exchange has also struck endorsement deals with many of the world’s top athletes, including 2021 American League Most Valuable Player Shohei Ohtani, Baseball Hall of Famer David Ortiz and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, all of whom who were among dozens of FTX celebrities named in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed earlier this week seeking damages for their role in promoting FTX.

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Key Background

Crypto companies have committed more than $3 billion in sponsorship money to the sports industry, GlobalData’s head of sports analytics, Conrad Wiacek, wrote in email comments last week, calling the FTX collapse a “seismic moment for sports sponsorship industry”. Valued at $32 billion in January with the support of major institutional investors, the sudden collapse of FTX came after the revelation of unscrupulous practices in the company and the trading company of Bankman-Fried Alameda Research. Crypto has caught on especially among prominent athletes, with many players such as NFL star Aaron Rodgers taking part of their salaries in bitcoin.

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Tangent

Manfred said Thursday that his “expectation” is to reach a collective bargaining agreement with the sport’s minor leagues before the 2023 season begins in April. On the same subject : The commission proposes a location for a new sports complex. MLB voluntarily recognized the minor league union in September after years of criticism over labor practices and congressional scrutiny.

Further Reading

FTX has spent a lot on sports sponsorships. What happens now? (New York Times)

Tom and Gisele Join Again as Defendants in FTX Class-Action (Forbes)

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