NBA’s Miami Heat to terminate relationship with FTX, will get new arena name

MIAMI, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 21: An exterior view of FTX Arena prior to a game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat at FTX Arena on October 21, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

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MIAMI, Fla. (CNN) — The NBA’s Miami Heat and Miami-Dade County have terminated their relationship with bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX and will search for a new naming rights partner for their arena in downtown Miami.

The announcement came after the FTX group earlier on Friday filed for bankruptcy in the United States and its CEO resigned, marking a stunning downfall for one of the biggest and most powerful players in the crypto industry.

Miami-Dade County and Miami Heat said in a joint statement Friday night that the reports about FTX are “extremely disappointing” and that they will work together to find a new naming rights partner for the arena, which was only renamed as FTX Arena last year.

Like other crypto companies, FTX has invested heavily in sports sponsorships. FTX had reportedly inked a reported $135 million, 19-year deal to rename the Miami arena in June 2021.

Also, Major League Baseball struck a five-year deal in 2021 to name FTX as its official cryptocurrency exchange. FTX is also the official cryptocurrency exchange partner of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team.

Even college sports has ties to FTX, with the University of California, Berkeley, signing a $17.5 million, 10-year naming rights partnership in 2021 for the school’s football stadium.

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