FTX Inks Deal with MLB Star Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani becomes latest celebrity tapped by company to elevate its brand, increase awareness of digital assets


FTX/Shohei Ohtani


key takeaways

  • Ohtani, who joins FTX brand ambassadors Tom Brady, Steph Curry, David Ortiz and others, will be compensated in equity and cryptocurrencies
  • FTX US president attributed business’s Q3 growth in part to sports partnerships

Crypto exchange FTX has landed a deal with another high-profile celebrity as it looks to continue pushing its brand awareness within the sports sphere. 

The company announced a long-term partnership with Shohei Ohtani, an All-Star pitcher, designated hitter and outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels. He will serve as a spokesperson for FTX to elevate the company’s brand and increase awareness of the company’s platform and digital assets more generally. 

Ohtani will be compensated in equity and cryptocurrencies. FTX will also make an annual contribution to various charities on Ohtani’s behalf.

The baseball star this year became the first player in Major League Baseball history to be an All-Star as both a pitcher and a hitter. Ohtani was also the first pitcher to participate in the Home Run Derby.

FTX had inked a deal with Major League Baseball earlier this year, which included the league’s umpires wearing an FTX.US logo patch on their uniforms. 

The company also partnered with NFL quarterback and seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady in June, and more recently announced similar alliances with two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steph Curry, NFL Running Back Aaron Jones, and David Ortiz, a retired slugger who won three World Series as a designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox.   

Brett Harrison, president of FTX affiliate FTX US, previously told Blockworks that sports partnerships forged by its parent companies have helped spur dramatic growth for the business in recent months.  

FTX US reported an average daily volume of roughly $360 million in the third quarter, a 512% increase from the prior quarter. Its user count increased by 52% quarter over quarter, though the company declined to share how many users it has.

Other crypto companies have looked to the sports world to boost brand awareness and educate the public about digital assets. 

Voyager Digital partnered with the Dallas Mavericks last month, and NYDIG announced a deal on Tuesday to become the official bitcoin services partner and platform of the Houston Rockets. 

The Rockets will work with NYDIG to expand the bitcoin ecosystem through access, educational programming, and community support initiatives, the organization said in a statement. NYDIG, which is paying for the sponsorship in bitcoin, will receive brand exposure across the team’s social, digital and in-arena platforms.

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