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Crypto's Trick Play for the Mainstream

Crypto's Trick Play for the Mainstream
November 18, 2021

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It’s a pet peeve of mine when sporting or event locations get co-opted by a sponsor and the name changes. It feels tacky. Case in point was my hometown’s beloved venue, the Luther Burbank Center. Beloved not only for hosting events like the Nutcracker ballet, touring legends like Stevie Nicks and Santana, and comedians like Amy Schumer and Margaret Cho, it was also lauded for its recognition of the botanist and local hero, Luther Burbank. At some point, it lost its luster when Wells Fargo decided to buy the naming rights, and voila, the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts was born.

 

This week, another naming rights buyout took place, from one corporate sponsor to another. LA’s iconic Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers, will soon be dubbed Crypto.com Center, after the Singapore-based tech startup of the same name. The CEO, Kris Marszalek, hopes the prominence of the naming opportunity will bring crypto further into the cultural mainstream. The deal of $700MM over 20 years makes it the largest naming rights deal in history.

But Crypto.com is not the only crypto magnate trying to reach household name status. FTX recently purchased the naming rights to esports giant TSM and the Miami Heat Arena.

And good news for my hometown hero, by the way. The Wells Fargo Center reverted to the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in 2016 after the 9-year corporate contract expired.

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[The Verge]
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