The Miami Heat NBA franchise today officially announced its long-term partnership with FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange co-founded by Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang in 2019.
FTX had already signed a deal with the Heat to rename its home venue to FTX Arena. Now FTX has also been named the "official and exclusive cryptocurrency exchange partner of the Miami Heat."
In addition to FTX getting prominent branding within the stadium, it will also take part in contests and promotions, as well as link up with the Heat's digital content.
“Internet technology and digital finance are evolving incredibly quickly," said FTX CEO Bankman-Fried in a press release. "We wanted to partner with a city and a franchise that are dynamic, diverse, innovative and always forward-looking.”
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has put the full court press on cryptocurrency and blockchain companies to relocate to the Magic City. In January of this year, in a chat with Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, he declared he wanted to make Miami "the most crypto competitive city on the planet."
But today's news goes beyond Suarez. The Heat specifically thanked Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, her COO, and the entire board of county commissioners for helping make the partnership possible.
The Heat arena is owned by the county, which meant the FTX deal required a vote from the county commissioners, who on March 26 approved the 19-year, $135 million naming rights deal, the Miami Herald reported and Decrypt has independently confirmed.
FTX is one of the largest crypto derivatives exchanges in the world, despite launching just two years ago. It's registered more than $14 billion in trading volume in the last 24 hours, according to trading volume data from CoinMarketCap.