In a ten-year deal, the FTX cryptocurrency exchange bought the naming rights for California Memorial Stadium for $ 17.5 million.
The stadium is the home ground for the University of California at Berkeley football team, the Golden Bears. The Cal Golden Bears will play their home games at the newly renamed FTX Field this football season.
Learfield, the media rights holder for Cal Athletics, has said he will accept cryptocurrency payments on behalf of the university. The deal represents a new source of income for the university, as its athletics department has been heavily subsidized for years.
FTX also maintains some personal ties to the stadium. FTX COO Sina Nader was an alternate member of the Golden Bears as an undergraduate student. In addition, the father of founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is also an alum. Among the National Register of Historic Places, the stadium is located in Alameda County, the namesake of Bankman-Fried’s trading company, Alameda Research.
This is just the latest sporting link for the cryptocurrency exchange as it strives to raise its profile even more. FTX has already built a homonymous stadium with the Miami Heat’s FTX Arena. Meanwhile, the company is also the official crypto exchange for Major League Baseball. After appearing together at the Bitcoin conference in Miami, NFL legend Tom Brady appears to have befriended Bankman-Fried. Brady and his wife recently took a stake in the company earlier this year as part of a long-term partnership.
Meanwhile, Shark Tank investor and co-host Kevin O’Leary recently announced a new partnership with FTX. In the announcement, O’Leary and FTX spoke of a long-term investment and spokesperson relationship. It will revolve around a participation in the capital of FTX Trading Ltd. and West Realm Shires Services Inc., as well as O’Leary as an ambassador for the exchange. FTX was valued at $ 18 billion when it was last raised.
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