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Los Angeles’ Staples Center—home to the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers, the WNBA’s Sparks and the NHL’s Kings—will be no more as of Christmas Day. According to reports Tuesday night, the venue will be re-named Crypto.com Arena, another sign that cryptocurrency is ensconced in American society.
An official announcement will likely come as soon as Wednesday. According to the Los Angeles Times, the 20-year naming rights deal between Staples Center owner Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and Crypto.com could be worth more than $700 million—considered the largest of its kind in the U.S.
“In the next few years, people will look back at this moment as the moment when crypto crossed the chasm into the mainstream,’’ Crypto.com chief executive Kris Marszalek told the Times Tuesday night from his home in Hong Kong. “This is just such a brilliant move from the guys at AEG, because the next decade belongs to crypto. And this positions L.A., and this particular venue, right at the center of it.’’
Axios.com reported Tuesday night that AEG—which purchased the naming rights back from Staples in 2019— was on the lookout for a new arena sponsor over the recent summer and that Crypto.com “began hammering out a deal that involves several experiential and philanthropic components.’’
According to the L.A. Times, blockchain will certainly become thematic at the arena, with a likely integration of “cryptocurrency payments.’’ The newspaper also reported that Crypto.com will become the Lakers and Kings official crypto partner and that, at the front of the venue, there will be a “dedicated Crypto.com activation space featuring crypto-centric interactive experiences for sports or music fans.’’
Marszalek went on to say Crypto.com hopes to become a “top-20 brand in the next 3 or 4 years, alongside names like Nike or Apple.’’ The company has already delved into sports, finalizing separate deals with UFC and the esports franchise Fnatic. According to the Times, the company also has an NFT division, crypto payment software and has seen revenue grow 2,000% in the past year.
Previously, in March, the cryptocurrency powerhouse exchange FTX inked a 19-year, $135 million agreement for the naming rights at the Miami Heat home venue, formerly American Airlines Arena. FTX has long coveted a space in American sports culture and has a deal, as well, with MLB.
As for Crypto.com, its logo will first appear on the building for the nationally-televised Christmas Day game between the Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets. According to reports, all Staples Center signage will disappear by June of 2022.
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