Sports marketing

Sam Bankman-Fried Says FTX’s Huge Sports Marketing Push Is “Clearly” Working

In 2021, crypto exchanges have chosen a new marketing battleground: professional sports. Binance, Coinbase,, and FTX have all signed several sports sponsorship deals, but none of them have been as aggressive as FTX.

Within eight months, FTX signed deals with the Miami Heat (for stadium naming rights), Major League Baseball (official crypto exchange, including an FTX logo patch on each umpire’s uniform) , the Golden State Warriors (international rights), the Washington Wizards and Capitals (official crypto exchange and NFT partner), and giant esports team TSM (naming rights).

The Heat deal in particular has raised eyebrows, especially after FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (known to everyone in cryptoland as SBF) said during a panel at the Virtual Ethereal Summit last May that he could happily repay the $135 million pledge over 19 years. in advance if necessary: ​​”Without going into details, it’s been a pretty good year for us. To the point where, frankly, we don’t have to rely on the other 18 years to have the funds for that. “

So: does sports marketing work? SBF says yes, at least anecdotally.

“Anyone we talk to who knows us a little, or a lot, or barely, or intimately, it’s a priority for them,” he said during the first episode of Decryptthe gm podcast. “Obviously it’s penetrated more than anything we’ve done together, in terms of how people perceive us. Not in terms of installs per dollar spent, though. So if that’s what you maximize, I don’t necessarily want to testify.”

SBF acknowledges that it does not yet have the data to prove that marketing directly leads to customer acquisition.

“If you measure it by something like downloads per dollar spent on advertising, it’s not going to come out well, it’s just not going to look good by that metric,” he said. “It’s not the metric it’s aiming to look good by. It’s aiming to look good by a different metric. And what’s the most compelling evidence I can offer of the impact it’s had on our business? There are statistics that we have, but I think that was perhaps a much more direct answer: in the last five minutes, new evidence has come to my attention indicating that this has had a very big impact And that proof is that you decided it was important to ask me about it.”

Of course, if SBF thinks sports marketing works for its business, it needs to understand that it also works for its competitors. In November, spent $700 million to slap its name on an even bigger NBA arena, the home of the LA Lakers. And Coinbase made a huge NBA play to be the “exclusive cryptocurrency platform partner” of the NBA and WNBA. Game on.

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