Crypto exchanges owning NBA arena naming rights is going super awesome

Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, NBA

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In the boom times a couple of years ago, crypto companies snatched up arena naming rights around the league. With many of these firms now in jeopardy, stadiums may be looking for some new sponsors.

About a year ago, cryptocurrency exchange, Crypto.com, paid $700 million for the naming rights to the Los Angeles Lakers home arena. Around the same time, another trading platform, FTX, acquired the naming rights to the Miami Heat‘s home court for $135 million.

At the time, it seemed like even more arenas could be swallowed up by crypto firms, as the industry boomed for several years. In an effort to trumpet their recent success and market to new users, these firms sought unique opportunities to get their unknown firms in the public eye.

Stadium naming rights were an easy way to achieve this end. Other financial technology firms were also getting in on the action, with Fiserv buying the naming rights to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2018, and Paycom buying the naming rights to the Oklahoma City Thunder arena.

Over the past year, however, cryptocurrency markets have continued their violent swings, and several trading platforms have experienced internal turmoil–everything from several rounds of major layoffs to bankruptcies.

Struggles at Crypto.com and FTX put stadium naming rights in jeopardy

Crypto.com and FTX both have struggled to stay afloat. In October, Crypto.com let nearly 30-40 percent of its workforce go. And FTX recently merged with Binance after users started taking money out of their FTX accounts in droves.

Both of these incidents have raised speculation that one or both of these teams could put their naming rights back in play if either of these firms desires a renegotiated deal, or backs out entirely.

After only a year, it’s unlikely fans have grown so accustomed to the names that they’d be disappointed in the change, but these incidents may force teams to think harder about the types of companies they sell these rights to.

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