Miami-Dade County will soon start to remove FTX’s advertising brand from the Miami Heat’s arena, after receiving permission Jan. 11 from a United States bankruptcy judge in Delaware, the Associated Press reports.
County officials negotiated a $135 million deal with the crypto exchange in 2021 for naming the NBA arena “FTX Arena” until 2040. A number of entrances, the roof of the arena, the basketball court, the security polo shirts, as well as many of the cards that employees use to access the facility are branded with FTX logos.
Following FTX’s bankruptcy filing, officials in Miami-Dade on Nov. 22 filed a motion to terminate the naming rights agreement. As part of that deal, the Heat were to receive $2 million annually beginning in June 2021. Jan. 1 was the due date for the last payment, which should have been $5.5 million.
Sport sponsorship deals were one of FTX’skey marketing strategies. One of the partnerships included a deal with a Mercedes-backed Formula 1 international racing team, the naming rights to Cal Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California, as well as endorsements from NFL quarterback Tom Brady.
Professional esports organization Team SoloMid (TSM) also suspended a $210 million deal with FTX, Cointelegraph reported. The partnership took place in June 2021 and resulted in the renaming of TSM to TSM FTX.
In another hearing held by judge John T. Dorsey, an attorney representing the collapsed crypto exchange stated that FTX has “recovered $5 billion in cash and liquid cryptocurrencies,” although its liabilities reach $8.8 billion. Additionally, Judge Dorsey approved a request to keep the names of FTX's clients secret for three months.
Roughly 130 companies in FTX Group — including FTX Trading, FTX US and Alameda Research — filed for bankruptcy in the United States on Nov. 11, following the crypto exchange’s “liquidity crunch” and dramatic collapse.