Nothing could possibly be more fitting than Major League Baseball being sponsored by currently-plummeting cryptocurrencies. FTX is now the “Official Cryptocurrency Exchange brand of MLB,” according to a release, because apparently MLB thinks they’re cool and hip and “with it.”
FTX branding will appear on all umpire uniforms starting at the MLB All-Star Game on July 13 and continue into the postseason. MLB is calling FTX its “first-ever umpire uniform patch partner.”
So, umpires — who are being dragged through the mud daily for atrocious strike zones and, most recently, the whole sticky-substance debacle — are sponsored by a crypto market.
MLB apparently is at least trying to do what the kids are doing, but manage to mess it up every single time. They have no idea how to market their product or make it better. I swear, every decision the league makes ends up making me roll my eyes harder than Brooks Koepka. Yesterday, the league posted this cryptic post (no pun intended).
I can hear Commissioner Rob Manfred chuckling to himself in his office, saying “Haha, we made a funny. Doge to the moon! That’s cool, right? We totally connect with young people.”
Buried in this press release, which makes it sound like umpire jersey patches are the extent of the partnership, is some revealing information about another venture the league is exploring:
In addition, FTX.US has formed an agreement with MLB Players Inc., a subsidiary of the MLB Players Association that manages all of the commercial activities for the organization. FTX will have group player rights which allows the organization to use highlights of players in content creation.
If a sports NFT is going to work, you’d think that baseball would be the perfect sport for it to work — and not like Top Shot, which appears to have been a flash in the pan that I haven’t heard anything about in months. Baseball is built on individual moments. Home run robs, diving plays, home runs, bat flips — those are the perfect moments to be captured.
They’ve already started this process. There are MLB NFTs out there, with the league launching a partnership with Candy Digital on June 1. So, maybe there’s going to be multiple NFT offerings, or something.
And yet, for all the effort to seem cool, MLB still hasn’t figured out the best thing they could do to market the game: Stop trying to ride the coattails of what they perceive as trendy, and start by not messing up the game and the players that play it. MLB needs passion and personalities, not cryptocurrency.