TSM Suspends Partnership With FTX — The Latest in a String of Departures

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

TSM Suspends Partnership With FTX — The Latest in a String of Departures

Esports team owner Team SoloMid (TSM) announced Wednesday that it suspended its partnership with embattled cryptocurrency exchange FTX. The $210 million naming rights agreement was set last July. It was the biggest in esports history.

In a statement to dot.LA, TSM spokesperson Gillian Sheldon said, “TSM is suspending our partnership with FTX effective immediately. This means that FTX branding will no longer appear on any of our org, team and player social media profiles, and will also be removed from our player jerseys.”


Earlier this week, dot.LA reported that TSM would likely pull out of the partnership and cut its losses. In addition, we noted the esports outfit would probably look to divest itself from the controversial FTX moniker as soon as possible. On Monday, TSM said it was “consulting with legal counsel.” Currently, it remains unclear if TSM will look to sue the crypto exchange for lost sponsorship revenue – after all, the esports company was set to receive payments of $21 million across 10 years, no small chunk of change.

TSM also noted that it “may take some time” for fans to see the change back to non-FTX branding since “some social platforms have made changes to their product features.” Given Twitter’s recent issues, it’s likely that’s the platform giving TSM a headache.

TSM’s deal with FTX is far from the first to crumble in the wake of the crypto exchange’s bankruptcy filing last week.

Numerous payment companies have terminated their contracts with FTX, including Visa, which broke off a global agreement to offer an FTX debit card Nov. 15.

The majority of FTX’s ambitious deals to sponsor big-name teams across professional sports have also evaporated. The Miami Heat terminated a $16.5 million deal that would have seen FTX’s name attached to their arena until 2040 earlier this week. The Golden State Warriors also paused FTX promotions and removed all in-arena advertisements on Monday. And last Friday, Mercedes’ Formula One team suspended its agreement to be sponsored by FTX.

Investors who shilled FTX are also now the subject of a new class action lawsuit filed in Miami Nov. 16. The list of celebrities named in the suit includes Tom Brady, Steph Curry, Larry David and Gisele Bündchen. All of whom have been accused of violating the state of Florida’s Securities and Investor Protection Act and the Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The suit is being brought forth by controversial attorney David Boies, who previously represented Theranos and Harvey Weinstein.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

New E-Scooter Company TukTuk Hits LA Streets

Maylin Tu
Maylin Tu is a freelance writer who lives in L.A. She writes about scooters, bikes and micro-mobility. Find her hovering by the cheese at your next local tech mixer.
Yahya Dabbagh
Image by Maylin Tu

Yahya Dabbagh isn’t your typical micromobility startup CEO.

For one, he takes a personal approach to customer service. When he feels a rider is trying to game the system by reporting a scooter broken, in order to earn a free unlock (valued at $1), Dabbagh sometimes will call them up.

Read moreShow less

This Year’s Techstars’ Demo Day Included Robot Bartenders and Towable Rockets

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

This Year’s Techstars’ Demo Day Included Robot Bartenders and Towable Rockets
Andria Moore

On Wednesday, Techstars’ fall 2022 class gathered in Downtown Los Angeles to pitch their products to potential investors in hopes of securing their next big funding round. dot.LA co-sponsored the demo day presentation alongside Venice-based space news website Payload.

Read moreShow less

Derek Jeter’s Arena Club Knocked a $10M Funding Round Right Out of the Park

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

sports trading cards
Arena Club /Andria Moore

Sports trading card platform Arena Club has raised $10 million in Series A funding.

Co-founded by CEO Brian Lee and Hall of Fame Yankees player Derek Jeter, Arena Club launched its digital showroom in September. Through the platform, sports fans can buy, sell, trade and display their card collections. Using computer vision and machine learning, Arena Club allows fans to grade and authenticate their cards, which can be stored in the company’s vault or delivered in protective “slabs.” Arena Club intends to use the new cash to expand these functions and scale its operations.

The new funding brings Arena Club’s total amount raised to $20 million. M13, defy.vc, Lightspeed Ventures, Elysian Park Ventures and BAM Ventures contributed to the round.

“Our team is thankful for the group of investors—led by M13, who see the bright future of the trading card hobby and our platform,” Lee said in a statement. “I have long admired M13 and the value they bring to early-stage startups.”

M13’s co-founder Courtney Reum, who formed the early-stage consumer technology venture firm in 2016 alongside his brother Carter Reum, will join Arena Club’s board. Reum has been eyeing the trading card space since 2020 when he began investing in what was once just a childhood hobby.

The sports trading card market surged in 2020 as fans turned to the hobby after the pandemic brought live events to a standstill. Since then, prices have come down, though demand remains high. And investors are still betting on trading card companies, with companies like Collectors bringing in $100 million earlier this year. Fanatics, which sells athletic collectibles and trading cards, reached a $31 billion valuation after raising $700 million earlier this week. On the blockchain, Tom Brady’s NFT company Autograph lets athletes sell digital collectibles directly to fans.

As for Arena Club, the company is looking to cement itself as a digital card show.

“Providing users with a digital card show allows us to use our first-class technology to give collectors from all over the world the luxury of being able to get the full trading card show experience at their fingertips,” Jeter said in a statement.

RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending