Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has reportedly reduced the scale of many of its sponsorship deals with sports organizations amid staff cuts and the market downturn.
According to an Oct. 6 report, Ad Age tech reporter Asa Hiken said Crypto.com cut the scope of sponsorship agreements inked with major sports organizations including Los Angeles' Angel City Football Club, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and esports tournament host Twitch Rivals — in some cases reportedly attempting to pull out of the deals entirely. Hiken cited unnamed former and current Crypto.com employees, who said the crypto exchange had begun considering such actions following the market downturn in May.
“The other shoe has dropped for a crypto firm that marketed really big when number was up,” said Hiken. “Now that number is down, the firm is grappling with its own costly decisions.”
Lawyers for Angel City reportedly claimed the crypto exchange withheld payments and eventually backed out of the deal, first announced in December 2021. In addition, the firm reportedly decided on plans to dissolve its partnership with Twitch Rivals, with both companies agreeing to finish the deal by the end of 2022. A former Crypto.com employee alleged the firm may have cut the number of hospitality packages it planned to issue as part of the FIFA deal by half.
Crypto.com has made a number of highprofile marketing deals in the last 12 months, from recruiting actor Matt Damon to appear in its "Fortune Favors the Brave" ad campaign to signing a $700-million agreement to rename the Staples Center in Los Angeles as the Crypto.com Arena. The crypto exchange has reportedly continued to move forward with the multimillion-dollar renovation.
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Cointelegraph reported in September that Crypto.com had dropped out of a half-billion-dollar sponsorship deal with the Union of European Football Associations Champions League. The report implied that other major partnerships with the exchange, including its five-year deal with the Australia Football League and Formula 1, might also be affected.
Although Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek had announced the exchange planned to downsize 5% of its employees in June, the report suggested the percentage of staff cuts may have been much higher, with roughly 30% to 40% leaving the firm from June to August — many as the result of layoffs. Since July, financial regulatory authorities in Italy, Cyprus, France and the United Kingdom have given Crypto.com the green light to offer its services to residents.