Major cryptocurrency exchange FTX gave $500 in crypto to every spectator sitting in one section of the FTX Arena at Thursday’s Miami Heat season opener game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
As well as the crypto giveaway, every fan in the stadium received a T-shirt with a QR code giving access to an exclusive ‘Opening Night FTX Arena NFT’.
Free NFT-shirt? Say no more!— FTX - Built By Traders, For Traders (@FTX_Official) October 21, 2021
All @MiamiHEAT fans in attendance at tonight’s game will receive a free “You In, Miami?” t-shirt!
By scanning the QR code on the back, they’ll unlock this free, limited edition FTX Arena NFT.
The future is here. You in, Miami? #FTXMIA pic.twitter.com/0t3ruJbWN7
Fans will no doubt be wondering if the free crypto giveaway will become a regular occurrence at Miami Heat games, with unconfirmed social media speculation that a different section may be given crypto each game to ramp up the excitement.
Messari founder Ryan Selkis did some back-of-the-envelope math and determined that with 21,000 spectators in the arena, and 80 seating sections, the giveaway would cost around $150,000 — which is a pretty good bang for the buck, given the stunt went down well on social media.
1) I just realized that FTX Arena capacity is 21,000 (nice job sam)— Ryan Selkis (@twobitidiot) October 22, 2021
2) at 80 sections this promo works out to about $150k on top of the mammoth arena naming rights spend.
agreed this will be the most fun crypto marketing campaign to watch. https://t.co/YjWJkXOO0S
In April, FTX paid up $135 million to rename the Miami Heat NBA arena FTX Arena for the next 19 years — a bold move, considering the company is only two years old.
“Don’t sleep on how powerful this sponsorship will be,” wrote podcaster Anthony Pompliano.
Related: FTX crypto exchange raises $420M from 69 investors
Udonis Haslem, a three-time NBA Champion Miami Heat legend, has been named ambassador for FTX’s "You In, Miami?" campaign at the game. FTX says it plans to work closely with Haslem to promote crypto within the greater Miami area.
"I'm excited to share my community with FTX and work alongside them to increase awareness of cryptocurrency,” said Haslem.
FTX has arrived in the 305, just in-time for @MiamiHEAT basketball.— FTX - Built By Traders, For Traders (@FTX_Official) October 21, 2021
We’re partnering with the Captain himself, @thisisUD, to further our support of crypto education and community impact.
FTX is in. UD is in. The HEAT are in.
You in, Miami? #FTXMIA pic.twitter.com/qvFNMW8svC
The promotional blitzkrieg is the most recent installment in FTX’s ongoing campaign to target sports fans as a way to bring in more mainstream consumers.
In May, FTX’s price index app Blockfolio signed an endorsement deal with top NFL draft pick Trevor Lawrence. It also recently signed a $210 million deal to sponsor eSports team TSM, changing the team’s name to TSM FTX for the next 10 years, and has been a sponsor of major league baseball since June.