- The Staples Center in Los Angeles will be renamed Crypto.com Arena on Dec. 25 as part of a 20-year naming rights deal between the cryptocurrency platform and AEG, the arena's owner, according to an announcement. Singapore-based Crypto.com paid $700 million for the rights, The Los Angeles Times reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
- As part of the agreement, Crypto.com will become the official cryptocurrency partner of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings. A new logo, branding assets and internal signage will appear on Christmas Day as part of a match between the Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets, while all external signage will be replaced by June 2022.
- Crypto.com will also receive a 3,300 square-foot "activation space" at the entrance to the venue, as well as areas throughout the main concourse and around the L.A. LIVE campus. The deal builds on the brand's growing roster of sports partnerships and an ad campaign starring Matt Damon that rolled out last month. Staples has held the naming rights to the arena since 1999, when it first opened.
AEG's move to rename The Staples Center — one of the most substantial naming rights deals in sports history, per The Los Angeles Times — serves as another indicator that cryptocurrency platforms are pushing for greater legitimacy and to broaden their consumer appeal after years of operating in a fairly niche pocket of the finance world. The agreement not only encompasses the 20,000-seat arena's signage and on-site assets, but also tie-ups with the Lakers and Kings.
The Staples Center is additionally home to the LA Clippers and the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, and frequently hosts marquee events such as the Grammy Awards, NBA All-Star Games and NHL All-Star Games. AEG estimates it draws 4 million guests per year. Crypto.com has existing partnerships with the UFC, F1, Paris Saint-Germain, Philadelphia 76ers, Montreal Canadiens, esports team Fnatic, Lega Serie A and Twitch Rivals.
For AEG, the change marks a bet that cryptocurrencies will endure past the short term, even as scrutiny mounts toward the technology's environmental impact, with countries like China starting to crack down on crypto mining due to its high level of carbon emissions. In the announcement, Crypto.com and AEG appeared to nod at such concerns. The live entertainment group noted how it was one of the first companies to adopt a greenhouse reduction goal that's in line with standards set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Meanwhile, Crypto.com said it's committed to becoming carbon negative by the end of next year through the use of carbon offsets.
"This partnership is about the future," Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of AEG, said in a press statement. "AEG and Crypto.com not only share a vision about innovation and the future of sports and entertainment, but we also have a shared commitment to our communities where we work and live."
Promoting crypto could draw the interest of the young, financially savvy consumers who have helped drive interest in blockchain-based digital currencies and emerging formats like nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Crypto.com claims to serve 10 million customers and be the world's fastest-growing crypto app.
As it looks to court new people, Crypto.com has also been ramping up its advertising. Last month, it launched a campaign around Fox's "Thursday Night Football" program that stars Matt Damon. The spot, titled "Fortune Favours the Brave," champions innovators who have embraced risk-taking throughout history. Elements of the effort are being integrated across Crypto.com's partnership portfolio. A YouTube version of the creative had more than 1.7 million views at press time.