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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Bankruptcy Court Terminates FTX Naming-Rights Agreement for Miami Heat Arena

Bankruptcy Court Terminates FTX Naming-Rights Agreement for Miami Heat Arena – Wednesday, a federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware terminated the FTX naming-rights arrangement for the Miami Heat arena. According to the order, the contract between Miami-Dade County and what was one of the largest digital asset exchanges ends retroactively, on Dec. 30, 2022.  U.S. media claimed that the Miami Heat’s arena will no longer be referred to as ‘FTX Arena’ and that county officials will be able to remove any signage, advertisements, and promotional materials using the FTX name and logo.

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In accordance with a 19-year, $135-million sponsorship agreement between the cryptocurrency trading platform and Miami-Dade County that went into effect in June 2021, the basketball arena was renamed after FTX. On January 1, 2023, a $5.5 million payment was due to the county. Immediately after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November, the Miami Heat and Miami-Dade County announced that they were terminating their business connections with FTX and searching for a new naming-rights partner.

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Following their statement, a photo of what appeared to be employees removing the FTX sign from the rooftop of the building was shared on social media. The FTX logo is also displayed above the basketball court and over the doors to the arena. In his order dated December 11, Judge John T. Dorsey stated that the termination of the name rights shall be immediate. The collapse of FTX, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, due to liquidity concerns resulted in possible losses of $8 billion for over a million customers.

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), its founder and chief executive officer, resigned, and a new management team was appointed. In December, SBF was arrested in the Bahamas, extradited to the U.S., charged with various charges of defrauding customers and lenders, and pleaded not guilty. He has since been released on bail, with his trial scheduled to begin in early October. In 2021, FTX entered into a number of other sponsorship deals with teams and organizations from various sports. 

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Immediately after acquiring the naming rights for the Miami Heat stadium, FTX became the official cryptocurrency exchange of Major League Baseball (MLB). In September of that year, the corporation struck a long-term sponsorship deal with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Mercedes announced that its vehicles will no longer display the FTX logo following the declaration of bankruptcy.


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