FTX Becomes Official Cryptocurrency Exchange Brand of MLB

By Liam J. Kelly

Crypto exchange FTX has just inked a new five-year deal with America’s premier baseball league, the MLB. The tie-up is primarily a marketing move from the crypto platform, but representatives from the MLB said the partnership will also continue catering to a fan base of “early adopters.”

The logo for FTX.US, the exchange’s U.S.-based entity, will also be featured as a patch on umpire uniforms starting from the MLB All-Star Game on July 13, 2021. Additionally, the exchange has also earned promotion rights throughout the various MLB-related channels, ranging from physical games to social media.

Crypto exchange FTX continues to push into sports partnerships ✍

➖ Bought naming rights to Heat arena
➖ Bought naming rights to esports brand TSM

Today, FTX signed a 5-year deal with MLB, becoming the first company to sponsor a patch on umpire’s uniforms. pic.twitter.com/EMbBlqDRAu

— Front Office Sports (@FOS) June 23, 2021

The partnership is significant considering the number of viewers who watch America’s second-most-popular sport. MLB.TV, the league’s exclusive streaming service, registered 1.3 billion minutes of streaming, according to CNBC. Similarly, ESPN’s Sunday coverage of the sport boasted an average viewership of 1.58 million viewers in the first two weeks of this year’s season.

FTX’s $210 Million Esports Deal Is Less Valuable Than It Seems

The exchange has also reportedly formed an agreement with MLB Players, Inc., the licensing entity responsible for any products that use the MLB brand or its players. Though unclear how this particular relationship will unfold, Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX’s CEO, said that “further details of our long-term partnership” will be announced later in the year.

Though this is the first time a crypto company has partnered with a sports league, it is not FTX’s first partnership in the world of sports. The Miami Heat, for instance, has renamed its stadium to the FTX Arena following a 19-year, $135 million deal in April.

In June, FTX also announced another multi-year deal that would see one of the largest esports teams rename to TSM FTX. The team will enjoy a $21 million check each year for the duration of the partnership.