Staples Center, a basketball and hockey arena in Los Angeles, will be named after a crypto website on Christmas Day.
The platform, which is home to NBA teams the Lakers and Clippers as well as the Kings of the National Hockey League and the Sparks of the National Women’s Basketball Association, has had the same name for 22 years.
But Crypto.com, a website that allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, is reportedly paying $700 million over the next 20 years for the naming privilege. It is considered the most expensive naming rights deal in history.
Stationery and office supply company Staples paid $100 million to have its name on the 20,000-seat stadium under a 20-year deal.
“In the next few years, people will see this moment as the moment crypto crossed the gap and entered the mainstream,” said Chris Marszelek, CEO of Crypto.com. LA Times,
“It’s just such a great move on the part of the people [venue owner] AEG, because the next decade belongs to crypto.”
Founded in 2016, Crypto.com has been on a spending spree in the global sports landscape over the past year.
The platform has signed high-visibility sponsorship deals with Formula One, the UFC, Italy’s Serie A, Paris Saint-Germain and the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens – while also buying the Philadelphia 76ers’ uniform sponsorship patches.
AEG, the sports and entertainment conglomerate that owns a majority of the Kings and a stake in the Lakers until last summer, built the arena that quickly became a well-known venue for major events in America’s second largest metropolitan area.
Along with its sports tenants, the arena has hosted 19 Grammy Award ceremonies, three NBA All-Star Games, two NHL All-Star Games, and countless high-profile concerts, performances, and important public events, including Michael Jackson, Nipsey Hussle, and Includes monuments. Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers have won six NBA championships during their tenure at the Caverns Arena, including three straight in their first three years of operation. Banners commemorating the Lakers’ 17 NBA titles hang high on the walls above the playing floor, providing the building’s most distinctive interior feature.
The Sparks have won three WNBA titles while at Staples Center, and the Kings won their first two Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014, both on home ice.
The Clippers will be short-timers at the Crypto.com Arena. They are scheduled to open owner Steve Ballmer’s $1 billion, 18,000-seat Intuit Dome in Inglewood in 2024, when his Staples Center lease expires. Sparks could still leave town, though nothing has been decided.
NBA stars are testing the waters of crypto and blockchain technology. Shaquille O’Neill recently released his own collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which run on the Ethernity chain, featuring five favorite moments from the player’s career.
The NBA itself partnered with Dapper Labs, the blockchain game company behind CryptoKitties, in August 2019 to create a ‘top shot’ NFT of video highlights from players’ history.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /