From Mercedes F1 to Miami Heat, sports teams suspend FTX sponsorships

A slew of sports organizations are pulling out of sponsorship deals with crypto-currency exchange FTX. The coin exchange platform had promised millions of dollars to build brand recognition among sports fans before going bankrupt.

The FTX brand is being taken down as the Miami Heat look for a new naming rights partner for their arena.

Scrapping one of FTX’s most expensive sponsorship deals, the Miami Heat and Miami-Dade County said Friday that they were ending the agreement with the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange and signaled their intention to find a new partner for the basketball team’s arena naming rights.

The $135 million, 19-year deal to rename the sports arena to FTX Arena was signed in June last year. The news that the Miami Heat is pulling out of the deal came after FTX announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States and the resignation of its CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried.

A photo posted Saturday on Twitter appears to show workers already taking down the FTX sign on the building’s roof. Over the past two years, the FTX brand has been associated with various sports as FTX, like others in the industry, has invested in a number of such sponsorships.

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Also last summer, shortly after securing the naming deal for the Miami Heat’s stadium, FTX became the official cryptocurrency exchange of Major League Baseball (MLB), with the FTX.US logo appearing on the umpires’ uniforms during the MLB All-Star Game in July.

Mercedes will remove FTX logos from F1 cars after suspending its sponsorship deal.

In September 2021, FTX took another major step into the sporting arena by signing a long-term sponsorship deal with the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team. The deal, which was supposed to cover several racing seasons, was also terminated as the bankruptcy saga unfolded.

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Mercedes cars in the F1 championship will no longer carry the logos of the crypto-currency exchange after the F1 team ended the partnership and announced it will not promote the crypto-currency brand at the upcoming Brazilian Grand Prix. A Mercedes spokesperson told the media outlet Racefans:

As a first step, we have suspended our partnership agreement with FTX. This means that the company will no longer appear on our race car and other branded assets.

The statement follows earlier reports that the team is evaluating the situation while retaining the brand. FTX logos have been printed on several parts of its W13 cars and during the Miami Grand Prix, Mercedes promoted the launch of an NFT collection with FTX.

Last year, FTX also entered the esports space through a naming deal with U.S. esports giant TSM and a sponsorship for the League of Legends Championship Series. Another partner in the sector is Brazilian esports organization Furia, tweeted at On Friday, it ends a one-year agreement with FTX, signed in April of this year.

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