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TSM FTX: The Biggest Naming Rights Deal in Esports History

Last Updated: July 22, 2021
Crypto exchange FTX pays nine figures to rebrand esports giants TSM in a record-setting 10-year pact

TSM, one of the most successful teams in esports and the most valuable organization in the industry, signed a landmark $210 million deal with cryptocurrency exchange FTX that renamed the organization “TSM FTX,” the two companies announced Friday.

The pact, first reported by the New York Times, is being called the largest naming rights deal in esports history.

As part of this reported 10-year partnership, TSM FTX is poised to make some huge investments in the coming years, including mobile platforms, talent development, and new offices in Asia, Europe, and South America. TSM FTX will also purchase $1 million in FTT, FTX’s native cryptocurrency token, and distribute crypto to each of its players and employees.

“We’re really excited to work with TSM. Their team has gone above and beyond both in-game and out, and rightfully established itself as the premier team in esports,” said Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX’s founder and CEO. “They have the drive, creativity, communication and generosity that we find combined in very few places.  We think that TSM will be able to help massively expand the presence of digital assets outside the traditional landscape.”

TSM has elite, successful teams in League of Legends, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite, Rainbow Six, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Valorant and more. In December, Forbes named TSM the most valuable esports company in the world with a $410 million valuation (Cloud9 came in second at $350 million, followed by Team Liquid and FaZe Clan at $310 million).

Notably, Hong Kong-based FTX already made a huge splash in the sports naming rights realm earlier this year, agreeing on a 19-year, $135 million naming rights deal for the Miami Heat’s arena in April. That pact kicks in when the Heat begin play for the 2021-22 NBA season, replacing American Airlines as the building’s rights holder.

The fact that the TSM deal is worth nearly triple the amount of the Heat deal on an annual basis tells you everything you need to know about how bullish FTX is about the growth potential of the esports sector.

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About The Author
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung is a Senior Staff Writer at Boardroom. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with past work appearing in Forbes, MLB.com, Awful Announcing, and The Sporting News. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and his Twitter and Spotify addictions are well under control. Just ask him.