CRYPTO FIRMS BUYING NAMING RIGHTS TO SPORTS PALACES

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The Los Angeles Staples Center sports arena is being rechristened the Crypto.com Center on Christmas Day, after the Singapore crypto brokerage of the same name agreed to pay $700 million over 20 years for the privilege, people familiar told the Wall Street Journal

“This is certainly one of the largest deals I’ve ever heard of,” sports lawyer Irwin Kishner said to the WSJ

“It’s absolutely a ground-shaking, major transaction,” he said. 

The 20,000-seat center is home to the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers basketball teams and the National Hockey League’s Los Angeles Kings.   

“If you want to reach billions of people, sports is the way to go,” Crypto.com founder and CEO Kris Marszalek said in a WSJ interview. 

“Our objective is to be, in the next three to five years, one of the top 20 consumer brands alongside Nike or Apple,” he said. 

Founded in 2016, Crypto.com allows account holders to borrow up to 10 times their capital to make trades in cryptocurrencies. It also offers crypto-based credit cards and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs (NFTs Could Be “Bigger Than Crypto,” CoinBase CEO Says, 16 November, 2021). 

Attaching crypto’s name to iconic institutions in major cities is another indicator that digital currencies and tokens have entered the mainstream.  

Institutional investors hold crypto, major banks are enabling clients to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, and last month U.S. regulators approved the first exchange-traded fund dealing in Bitcoin futures.  

Last March, the U.S. affiliate of the Bahamas-based FTX crypto exchange paid $135 million for the right to rename Miami’s American Airlines Arena, where the Miami Heat basketball team plays, as the FTX Arena.  

FTX also has funded a $20-million advertising campaign to tout crypto, featuring Tampa Bay Buccaneers football hero Tom Brady and his wife, model and businesswoman Gisele Bundchen (“Tom is In – You In?”).  

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: In Crypto Sanity (16 February, 2021) and other articles, we correctly predicted that crypto would quickly become mainstream when private and central banks acknowledged it as an legitimate investment vehicle and when government regulators permitted legal trading, a breakthrough last month when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission permitted Proshares’ Bitcoin ETF (Market Overview, 19 October, 2021).  

TREND FORECAST: Public acceptance and investment in crypto will continue to gain momentum, dragging regulators and central banks along with them.   

Public pressure, as well as competition from private digital currencies and governments developing their own stablecoins (SEC Chief Sets Regulatory Sights on Cryptocurrencies, 10 August, 2021) will speed the release of government-backed digital money and quickly embed it in common use with almost the same speed at which debit cards told hold.


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