The $17.5 million deal will see the Berkeley campus football field renamed the FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium
Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX announced yesterday it was launching a 10-year relationship with Cal Athletics, the sport department of the University of California at the Berkeley campus.
The $17.5 million deal will see FTX receive the naming rights to the campus football field, which shall henceforth be known as the FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium. This marks the first collegiate crypto naming rights sponsorship and the Cal Athletics rightsholder will accept the payment in cryptocurrency.
The university’s director of athletics, Jim Knowlton, commented, “FTX is a growing company at the forefront of innovation in an emerging technology, one that fits well at both Cal and in the Bay Area. This agreement extends well beyond field naming rights, which is part of our strategic plan to diversify revenue streams in support of our student-athlete experience, and includes commitments for our Cameron Institute, Cal Veterans and students in need here in Berkeley. We are looking forward to building our relationship now and in the years ahead.”
The Cameron Institute for Student-Athlete Development will benefit from a community engagement programme supported by FTX, which will include promoting public service to student-athletes. The initiative will centre around helping disadvantaged communities such as under-represented students, Berkeley’s homeless population and the Cal Veterans Group.
FTX.US’s Chief Operating Officer, Sina Nader, said, “We’re excited to partner with one of the world’s great universities and expand crypto’s presence into the collegiate athletics landscape. This historic partnership will also allow us to collaborate on charitable initiatives that align with our organization’s core values.”
FTX and Cal Athletics will support philanthropic projects through the launch of a community service platform, while social integration, athletics press backdrop branding and on-field branding will also play a role in the sponsorship.
Sport sponsorships are nothing new for FTX. The crypto exchange has already sponsored Major League Baseball, esports organisation Team SoloMid and basketball team Miami Heat, who now play their home games at FTX Arena.