The Crypto craze has infiltrated the sports realm for years, however, no crypto firm has been more ubiquitous of late than FTX. Franchises, athletes, and venture capitalists who advise these figures all rose for the bullish crypto market. FTX sniveled its way into mainstream culture through brand sponsorships with athletes, Super Bowl commercials, and naming rights deals. They knew their audience. Young, impressionable, and vulnerable to speculative digital currencies with brand name recognition. Sports gave them inroads into a larger swath of the demographic crypto they targeted.
And everyone who bet on FTX or deposited funds likely lost big while allegedly FTX misusing customer funds. On Tuesday, FTX announced its non-U.S. business would be acquired by rival Binance due to concerns over its volume of liquidity. However, that deal was scuttled the next day after Binance’s review of FTX’s finances. The bottom fell out on the cryptocurrency exchange when FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday. Reportedly, $1 billion in customer funds has vanished, leaving the world’s fifth-largest leading crypto exchange with a legacy as the Enron or Theranos of the digital currency realm.
Despite the fickle nature of crypto, FTX secured investments from some of the most prominent athletes and leagues in professional sports during its ascent. Their shocking bankruptcy call was akin to Josh Allen fumbling away a game that had a 99 percent win probability.
Here are the sports investors and crypto marks who rode the FTX wave, spread their defective message, and got caught in their rapid fall. Noticeably absent from the FTX lineup of brand ambassadors is LeBron James, whose portfolio –unlike his Finals record– is still undefeated.