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.
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