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Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform buys naming rights to LA's Staples Center in record S$950m deal

LOS ANGELES — Staples Center in Los Angeles will be rebranded as Crypto.com Arena starting Christmas Day in a naming rights deal announced on Tuesday (Nov 16) night.

Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Staples Center in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES — Staples Center in Los Angeles will be rebranded as Crypto.com Arena starting Christmas Day in a naming rights deal announced on Tuesday (Nov 16) night.

The cryptocurrency exchange, which is headquartered in Singapore, is paying a reported US$700 million (S$950 million) over 20 years to rename the 20,000-seat home of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, the NHL's Kings and the WNBA's Sparks.

It is believed to be the richest naming rights contract in sports history, according to ESPN.

The building in downtown Los Angeles has been called Staples Center since it opened in October 1999. The office-supply retail company held a 20-year agreement for the naming rights.

The name change takes place on Dec 25 when LeBron James and the Lakers host Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets.

Crypto.com also has sponsorship deals with the NHL's Montreal Canadiens, Formula One, the UFC, Serie A football in Italy and the French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain. The NBA's Philadelphia 76ers have a Crypto.com uniform patch.

The Clippers are scheduled to move into their new US$1.2 billion Intuit Dome in Inglewood, California, in 2024.

Crypto.com, which was founded in 2016, is a trading and services platform for exchanging Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin and other virtual currencies, and it claims Matt Damon, the actor, as its pitchman.

Crypto.com Arena will not be the first stadium named after a cryptocurrency brand. Earlier this year, FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong, signed a deal with the Miami Heat and local authorities — worth US$135 million over 19 years — to rebrand the arena where the NBA team plays. Instead of American Airlines Arena, it is now called FTX Arena.

(TSM, an e-sports team based in LA, also agreed to change its name to TSM FTX — in exchange for US$210 million over 10 years.)

Slapping a corporate name on a stadium does not always mean the sponsors will survive and prosper.

Enron, the energy company that also made a big bet on broadband, in 1999 bought the naming rights to the Houston Astros’ home venue and named it Enron Field. When Enron collapsed amid fraud, it agreed to sell the naming rights back to the Astros for US$2.1 million.

Around the same time, an internet service provider named PSINet bought the rights to Ravens Stadium in Baltimore and named it PSINet Stadium. In 2002, after PSINet filed for bankruptcy, the name reverted to the original.

Stadium names more recently have been dominated by companies in the banking, telecom and other booming sectors. Citi Field, named for the financial services firm Citigroup, replaced New York’s Shea Stadium in 2009, for instance. T-Mobile Arena opened in Las Vegas in 2016.

Now the Ravens’ home is called M&T Bank Stadium. The Astros, meanwhile, play at Minute Maid Park, which is named after a Coca-Cola brand. AGENCIES

Related topics

cryptocurrencies Crypto.com Los Angeles Staples Center

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