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How FTX’s Failure Affects Sports Sponsorship Deals

The failures of Enron and Adelphia left sports franchises scrambling two decades ago, much like the situation at the Miami Heat – with county officials – and UC Berkeley following the bankruptcy filing from FTX on Friday.

An expert who negotiated naming rights deals explained why it might not be as easy to replace FTX, at least for the amount the failed crypto exchange agreed to pay.

“It’s a really tough time to go into the market and try to find someone who’s willing to invest the level of FTX, especially for this length of time,” sports marketing consultant Eric Fernandez told Front Office. Sports.

Related: FTX Crypto Implosion Poses Major Marketing Issues

FTX negotiated two major site naming rights deals in 2021.

In April of that year, Miami-Dade, owner of the Heat’s arena, and FTX agreed to a 19-year, $135 million deal for FTX to replace American Airlines as the venue’s sponsor. Miami-Dade County and the Heat said in a joint statement Friday night that they had ended their relationship, and Mayor Daniella Levine Cava says WPLG-TV Sunday that the county had banked $20 million before FTX went bankrupt.

In August 2021, FTX entered into a 10-year deal worth $17.5 million for the UC Berkeley football stadium. In a statement to FOS on Friday, the UC Berkeley athletic department said it was “monitoring the evolving business situation with FTX and will determine next steps.”

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