In 2021, FTX Trading Limited, along with its parent company West Realm Shires Services Inc., owners of United States-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX.US, announced a long-term and global partnership with Major League Baseball.
It made FTX the official cryptocurrency exchange brand for MLB and marked the first-ever partnership between a professional sports league and a cryptocurrency exchange. In addition, FTX.US reached an agreement with MLB Players Inc. to manage all of the commercial rights for the organization.
The partnership also led to MLB umpires wearing a FTX.US patch on their uniforms and gave FTX worldwide marketing rights related to MLB.
But roughly 17 months after the deal was agreed to, FTX has filed for bankruptcy, according to Ken Sweet of The Associated Press:
The embattled cryptocurrency exchange, short billions of dollars, sought bankruptcy protection after the exchange experienced the crypto equivalent of a bank run. FTX, the hedge fund Alameda Research, and dozens of other affiliated companies filed a bankruptcy petition in Delaware on Friday morning. FTX US, which originally was not expected to be included in any financial rescue, was also part of the company’s bankruptcy filing.
Along with filing Chapter 11, the company also announced CEO Sam Bankman-Fried resigned from his role but will remain to assist the newly-appointed John Ray III in an orderly transition. Many of the employees are expected to continue with the FTX Group and assist Ray and independent professionals in its operations during the Chapter 11 proceedings.
With FTX filing for bankruptcy, their sponsorship deals with MLB and the other various sports deals they agreed to, are now up in the air, but it will likely lead to new agreements for all of them.
In addition to MLB, the crypto exchange also had deals with the Miami Heat, Formula 1 Racing, and some of the best athletes in the world, including Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani and seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady.
FTX sent moon man mascot to 2021 National League Wild Card game
During the 2021 postseason, FTX sent its mascot, “Lou Nar, the Moon Man,” to the National League Wild Card Game at Dodger Stadium, which caused a stir on social media when he was sitting behind the plate.
The mascot was there to help promote their announcement that they would donate $10,000 for every “moonblast” throughout the postseason to the charity of choice for a player who hits a 425 foot homer or greater.
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