FTX and Miami-Dade County Deal Ends as SBF Denies Allegations
- Miami-Dade County will now begin to strip FTX’s advertising brand from the Miami Heat’s arena, post approval from the bankruptcy judge.
- Judge John T. Dorsey stated that the rights deal “shall be [terminated] effective immediately upon entry of this order.”
- Miami-Dade County secured a $135 million deal with the cryptocurrency exchange in 2021 to name the arena “FTX Arena” until 2040.
- FTX branding is spread all over the arena, including on its roof, on the basketball court, on the polo shirts worn by security staff, etc.
Amid the prolonged crypto winter, once-leading crypto exchange platform FTX, which filed for bankruptcy in November 2022, has acted as a catalyst to intensify the ongoing chaos in the industry. After getting approval from a United States bankruptcy judge in Delaware on January 11, Miami-Dade County will now begin to strip FTX’s advertising brand from the Miami Heat’s arena.
According to the Associated Press, on Wednesday, a federal bankruptcy court terminated the naming rights deal between FTX and Miami-Dade County. As a result, all the collapsed exchange’s signage and advertising would be removed from the NBA’s Miami Heat’s arena. The U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John T. Dorsey stated that the rights deal “shall be [terminated] effective immediately upon entry of this order.”
Notably, Miami-Dade County secured a $135 million deal with the cryptocurrency exchange in 2021 to name the arena “FTX Arena” until 2040. It is interesting to note that the FTX branding is spread all over the arena, including on its roof, on the basketball court, on the polo shirts worn by security staff, at multiple entrances, and even on many of the electronic cards used by employees to access the facility.
However, following FTX’s bankruptcy filing, the county filed a motion to cancel the naming rights agreement in November last year. It claimed that referring to the building as FTX Arena would only worsen the “enduring hardships” brought on by the failure of the cryptocurrency exchange.
One of FTX’s primary marketing strategies was to secure sports sponsorships, including a partnership with NFL quarterback Tom Brady, a deal with a Formula 1 international racing team funded by Mercedes, and the naming rights to Cal Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California.
Professional esports group Team SoloMid (TSM) also terminated a $210 million agreement with FTX. Notably, TSM was renamed to TSM FTX as a result of the partnership in June 2021.
FTX Founder Denies Allegations
FTX was the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange, but it suffered massive losses before going bankrupt after a dramatic meltdown that only lasted a few days. Estimates of its losses range from $8 billion to $10 billion.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the company’s founder, was detained in the Bahamas last month and then extradited to the United States to face charges in what U.S. Attorney Damian Williams has referred to as “one of the biggest frauds in American history.”
On January 12, SBF claimed that FTX US had been “fully solvent” at the time when the firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November, with roughly $350 million in cash on hand. He further added that if he had been in charge of the exchange, it would have remained solvent. However, it is crucial to note that FTX filed for bankruptcy under SBF. Moreover, the former executive also blamed the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, for the collapse of his firm.
“I didn’t steal funds, and I certainly didn’t stash billions away. Nearly all of my assets were and still are utilizable to backstop FTX customers,” he stated.