Major League Baseball and cryptocurrency exchange FTX struck a partnership prior in 2021, but after the company filed for bankruptcy in early November, the deal with MLB isn’t likely to continue.
The first-ever deal with a professional sports league and a cryptocurrency exchange was a groundbreaking move, but after just 17 months, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred explained the league’s decision based on the news of FTX’s bankruptcy fallout, via Joon Lee of ESPN:
Additionally, Manfred said FTX — the cryptocurrency firm that collapsed in recent weeks — would not return as a sponsor in 2023. FTX previously appeared on the uniform patches for umpires during the 2022 season.
“The FTX development was a little jarring,” Manfred said. “We have been really careful moving forward in this space. We’ve been really religious about staying away from coins themselves as opposed to more company-based sponsorships. We think that was prudent particularly given the way things unfolded. We will proceed with caution in the future.”
Several MLB stars including Shohei Ohtani and former slugger David Ortiz were mentioned in a class-action lawsuit against FTX brand ambassadors, and the future and developments of that should be monitored going forward.
MLB recently struck a deal with Charlotte’s Web, which would mark the first CBD sponsorship with a major pro sports league. The league hasn’t shied away from attempting to get ahead with corporations that appear to be on the up & coming, and they’ll hope to avoid another disaster as they did with FTX and their fallout.
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