Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX buys a Super Bowl ad as the crypto exchange amplifies its presence in sports

Katy Perry performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Az.
Katy Perry performs during the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show. Chris Coduto/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX has purchased as an ad for the Super Bowl in February 2022.
  • The championship game typically attracts millions of viewers, with the 2021 edition pulling in 91 million.
  • “There is no bigger, more mainstream event to share a message like that than the Super Bowl,” he said.
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Sam Bankman Fried’s FTX cryptocurrency exchange has purchased an ad for the Super Bowl in February 2022 as it ramps up its foray into the world of professional sports.

The annual championship game of the National Football League typically attracts millions of viewers, with the 2021 edition pulling in 91 million watchers.

“Our message throughout this year has been that crypto is safe, accessible, and ready for the mainstream,” Bankman-Fried said in a statement, after Bloomberg first reported the news. “There is no bigger, more mainstream event to share a message like that than the Super Bowl.”

FTX, which recently was handed a $US25 ($AU33) billion valuation, has been aggressively snapping up sports partnerships.

Earlier this year, the crypto exchange signed a $US135 ($AU180) million deal for the naming rights on the Miami Heat’s stadium, which is now called FTX Arena. Then in June, it partnered with Major League Baseball to become the first crypto exchange sponsor in professional sports.

But why the push in sports? For Bankman-Fried, it is simple.

“Sports fans are 2x more likely to know about crypto than nonsports fans,” the founder and CEO said. “Avid sports fans are nearly 3x as likely.”

While FTX is open to other sports, Bankman-Fred said he is a football fan.

In June, he tapped Tom Brady, whom he called “the #1 draft pick,” to be a brand ambassador. As part of the deal, the seven-time Super Bowl Champion and his wife Gisele Bündchen agreed to take equity stakes and receive cryptocurrency.

Speculation had been swirling about FTX purchasing an ad spot in the major sports event, which cost upwards of $US5 ($AU7) million each. FTX kept mum until today.

“Of course we’re doing the Super Bowl thing,” Bankman-Fried said. “Would you really expect us not to?”