Crypto.com Joins FTX in Purchasing a 2022 Super Bowl Ad

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On February 13, when you're watching Super Bowl 56, good luck avoiding crypto.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that Crypto.com has purchased a Super Bowl ad. The cost of a 30-second commercial in this year's game is allegedly $6.5 million.

It's the next step in the exchange's sports sponsorship initiative. Crypto.com reportedly paid $700 million for the naming rights to the Staples Center, home of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers, earlier this month. The exchange also became a sponsor for the Coppa Italia final, Italy's most famous soccer cup tournament, earlier this year. To commemorate the anniversary, an NFT collection was developed as part of the agreement.

Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek told the WSJ that the company’s top brass want the exchange to become one of the world’s top 20 consumer brands in the next three to five years—placing it in the company of sports and tech giants like Nike and Apple. “Going into different sports just allows me to reach everybody where they are," Marszalek said. "Super Bowl is just one more step into that, where it’s as mass as you get."

The crypto industry’s sports push

Marszalek's ambition to become a major consumer brand sounds eerily similar to what FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (Decrypt's Founder of the Year) said about his company's own sports deal push. "We're significantly behind on name recognition," Bankman-Fried remarked at a Decrypt and Yahoo Finance live event in November. "We've noticed that when people are seeking to come into crypto for the first time, they haven't heard about FTX."

FTX has been spending to change that, and bought a Super Bowl ad of its own in October. 

FTX signed a major contract with the NBA's Miami Heat in April, becoming the team's "official and exclusive" cryptocurrency partner. The Heat's home stadium, the American Airlines Arena, was renamed the FTX Arena as part of the arrangement. The Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards, and Capitals have all recently signed deals with FTX US, and even MLB umpires wear the crypto exchange's insignia on their jerseys.

Coinbase has carved up a niche for itself elsewhere in the NBA. The newly public exchange secured a sponsorship arrangement with the NBA and WNBA in October, making it the league's and WNBA's official cryptocurrency partners. Coinbase also signed an agreement with NBA star and Brooklyn Net Kevin Durant earlier this month.

Surely, Crypto.com and FTX will not be the only cryptocurrency companies advertising during Super Bowl 56. Will Coinbase be the next company to purchase a space?

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