No brand has suffered a more humiliating blow than Miami Heat, which terminated its 19-year naming rights contract with FTX a year after it agreed to a $135 million deal to replace American Airlines as the brand. The official logo of the Heat’s home ground. It’s just a pea compared to the $700 million Crypto.com will pay Anschutz Entertainment Group, over the next 20 years, to replace Staples as a brand synonymous with the Lakers and Kings family of games.
Heat’s stadium deal is just another domino’s fall in Miami’s attempt to become Bitcoin Bro Capital. Mayor Francis Suarez and FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried have sought to make Miami the global crypto epicenter. Suarez endorsed FTX, which is based in the Bahamas and as a clue that things are not going well, FTX has moved its US headquarters to Miami.
FTX only paid $14 million of that $135 million upon signing the contract, but FTX is not suitable for Heat or the city of Miami. Their contract with Miami-Dade County, which owns the FTX Arena, stipulates that in the event of default, the crypto exchange will be responsible for paying three years of contract fees within 60 days. Currently, FTX owes $16.5 million over the next three years, and the County reserves the right to charge 12 percent annual interest until payments are made.
Former tennis No. 1 Naomi Osaka, David Ortiz, Trevor Lawrence and Shaq also lost heavily due to the collapse of FTX. The Washington Wizards and their G League affiliate didn’t get as big of a hit as the Heat, but in a snap of Thanos, their partnership vanished as well. With any luck, this fall should convince consumers not to follow athletes off a cliff of financial potential. They can make suggestions, and they’re usually honest when they tell you they’re not experts.