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The FTX CEO went forward with negotiating with Taylor Swift, and both parties almost closed the deal to pay the celebrity $100 million.
On matters arising from the failed crypto exchange FTX, unnamed sources have revealed that the company was in talks with pop star Taylor Swift over a $100 million deal before the collapse. According to the sources, the exchange was in the final phases of the deal before the liquidity crisis and bankruptcy came to light. Despite the general economic meltdown that affected all, including the crypto industry, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried considered branding to help the exchange recover from its drowning state. This is despite pleas from other executives to preserve cash and halt expenditures on celebrity endorsements.
FTX CEO in Final Talks with Taylor Swift Before Crash
The FTX CEO went forward with negotiating with Taylor Swift, and both parties almost closed the deal to pay the celebrity $100 million. However, the agreement fell apart shortly before the liquidity crisis. If not, it could have cost FTX over $100 million over the next three years. One of the people aware of the negotiations said that “no one really liked the deal” between the FTX chief executive and Taylor Swift. The reason is not far-fetched: it was worth millions of dollars and was going to increase expenses at a time the company was struggling to float. The familiar source added that “it was too expensive from the beginning.”
In addition, FTX staff were of the opinion that Taylor Swift would not have been able to reach the target demographic audience the exchange requires. The executives said the partnership would have been a disaster, and SBF was too committed to bringing the celebrity on board to consider the downsides. Ahead of the liquidity crisis and bankruptcy, FTX was promoted in TV sports. Sports and entertainment celebrities also advertised the exchange via social media ads. Some include NBA player Stephen Curry, Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka, and American football quarterback Tom Brady. American comedian Larry David also featured in an ad for the exchange.
From Billions to Zero
FTX, worth $32 billion at the beginning of 2022, has now moved into bankruptcy within a year. The situation has caused backlashes against the CEO, amongst which is a call by Mike Novogratz for SBF to be jailed. In an interview, Novogratz said the FTX debacle led investors to lose trust in crypto. The Galaxy Digital CEO noted:
“It was delusional. Let’s be very clear. Sam was delusional about what happened and his culpability in it. He needs to be prosecuted. He will spend time in jail. And it wasn’t just Sam. You don’t pull this off with one person.”
Notably, Bankman-Fried has been claiming innocence over the crash and continuously giving public apologies.