• The partnership with the Rockets is not just a NYDIG brand awareness move but a move to create awareness for bitcoin as well, NYDIG’s CMO Kelly Brewster told Blockworks in an interview
  • Earlier this week, Crypto.com made a $700 million name rights deal with the Los Angeles Lakers to rename the Staples Center to Crypto.com Arena for the next 20 years

The Houston Rockets have partnered with bitcoin-focused NYDIG to bring a range of cryptocurrency services to the basketball team. 

The deal will be paid in bitcoin to Tilman Fertitta, the owner and CEO of Fertitta Entertainment, who owns the Rockets, Post Oak Motor Cars, the hospitality company Landry’s and the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casinos. The proceeds will be held on NYDIG’s bitcoin platform, according to a release. 

Landry’s and Fertitta’s dealership also recently partnered with NYDIG to implement bitcoin rewards and allow customers to finance cars through bitcoin loans, respectively. 

“We got connected to their organization a few months ago and Tilman has been interested in crypto generally and bitcoin specifically for quite some time,” NYDIG’s Chief Marketing Officer Kelly Brewster told Blockworks in an interview. “I think he’s already a little bit ahead of the curve and really wanted to make more of a concerted effort to focus on (bitcoin),” Brewster said. 

NYDIG is a bitcoin-focused company that provides technology and financial services solutions to banks, insurers, corporations and institutions. Some of its recent partnerships and investments range from credit unions to mining firms. It is also a holding company Stone Ridge subsidiary, a $12 billion alternative asset manager. 

The Rockets will work with NYDIG to provide access, educational programming and community initiatives to the bitcoin ecosystem through the NBA team’s social, digital and in-person platforms. Additionally, the Toyota Center’s suite levels will be named “Bitcoin Suites by NYDIG.” 

“From the get-go we’ve been trying to figure out what are all of the different touchpoints in their business, where we can, and make bitcoin a bigger part of it and doing exciting things for bitcoiners,” Brewster said. 

The partnership with the Rockets is “as much about bitcoin, as it is about NYDIG,” meaning it’s not just an NYDIG brand awareness move but a move to create awareness for bitcoin as well, Brewster said. 

NYDIG is well known for partnering with non-crypto-related businesses to expand bitcoin’s reach. Other crypto companies have also expanded into the sports world to boost brand awareness and educate the public about cryptocurrencies, more specifically, bitcoin. 

Earlier this week, Crypto.com made a $700 million name rights deal with the Los Angeles Lakers to rename the Staples Center to Crypto.com Arena for the next 20 years.

Separately, crypto exchange FTX landed a deal with high-profile Los Angeles Angels All-star Pitcher Shohei Ohtani, who will serve as a spokesperson for the company. Last month Voyager Digital partnered with the Dallas Mavericks, which is one of many announcements recently that has aimed to merge the crypto and sports worlds together.


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  • Jacquelyn Melinek is a Houston-based reporter covering digital asset funds and markets. She previously reported on energy markets for S&P Global Platts and Bloomberg News and is published in over 65 news outlets. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Media and Journalism.