Editor's note: This story was updated at 1:10 p.m. EST on Tuesday with comment from FTX.
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX withdrew from talks to sponsor a jersey patch with the MLB's Los Angeles Angels, according to a New York Post report citing sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations.
A similar patch deal between the NBA’s Washington Wizards and another unnamed crypto firm fell through in recent days as well, with the latest market crash being the main reason, the sources said. But any potential deal with the Wizards is attractive for crypto companies, since politicians and regulators who oversee the industry attend their home games.
In a statement to Decrypt, FTX confirmed that talks with the Angels happened, but took issue with the New York Post's characterization.
A spokesperson told Decrypt: "Contrary to recent reports, this opportunity with the Angels was discussed months ago and we declined early on, as it wasn’t the right fit for our marketing goals. This is one of many similar opportunities from teams that we’ve declined early on in the process and this decision was not made as a result of the recent market downturn."
FTX, which first entered the sports industry in April last year with a 19-year $135 million deal with the NBA’s Miami Heat to rename the team’s home venue to FTX Arena, signed a sponsorship deal with the Wizards—as well as with the NHL’s Washington Capitals—in December.
Last year, the crypto derivatives exchange also partnered with Warriors star Stephen Curry, an avid NFT collector and creator himself.
Some of FTX’s other sport partnerships include a five-year deal with the MLB, a $20 million ad campaign starring Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and his supermodel wife Gisele Bündchen last October, and a Super Bowl commercial featuring “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Larry David.
Navigating the bear market
Last week’s massive crypto sell-off saw the price of Bitcoin briefly drop below $18,000, while the combined market cap of all digital assets tanked below the $1 trillion mark.
The leading cryptocurrency has been on an upward trend since Sunday though, and is currently trading at just over $21,000, up 1% over the past 24 hours.
While some crypto companies, such as Coinbase, Gemini, and Crypto.com, announced emergency staff layoffs to navigate through the bear market, others, including FTX, Kraken, and Binance, said they had no plans to stop new hirings.
Still, it appears that cutting costs through different means may be a necessary move for many in the industry.