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Not only would FTX rename the Cal stadium, both entities hope that the deal with transcend athletics and also impact the local community.
Cal Athletics (California Golden Bears) recently signed a partnership deal with crypto exchange FTX.US that sees the first-ever crypto naming rights sponsorship for a university sports stadium. The deal between the collegiate athletics team and the leading crypto exchange is worth $17.5 million and is valid for 10 years. In that period, the California Memorial Stadium will be renamed to FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium. In addition, athletics press backgrounds and social integration will feature new on-field branding.
Furthermore, payment by FTX to the varsity will be 100% in crypto. LEARFIELD, the multimedia rights holder for the Bears, will receive it on behalf of the university.
The complete parties involved in the deal were Cal Athletics, LEARFIELD’s Cal Bears Sports Properties, and West Realm Shire Services Inc. The incorporated company owns and operates the US-based FTX crypto exchange.
More on the FTX CAL Deal
Cal Director of Athletics, Jim Knowlton, is optimistic about the partnership with FTX. He acknowledged the exchange platform as a pioneer in its field, and one that positively impacts the greater local community. He further stated the varsity’s strategic plan of revenue stream diversification to support student-athlete causes. According to Knowlton, the renaming rights deal is only part of a bigger picture. Finally, Knowlton called into focus the University of California, Berkeley’s numerous commitments, including “Cameron Institute, Cal Veterans and students in need here in Berkeley”.
The Cal Director of Athletics suggested a sustained collaboration between the University of California, Berkeley, and FTX. His suggestion proposes a community engagement program for the Cameron Institute for Student-Athlete Development. A core objective of the proposed initiative is to help student-athletes see the benefits that participating in public service yields. It aims to achieve this through the utilization of short-term and long-term obligations. Such obligations involve serving the homeless population in Berkeley, underrepresented students, and the Cal Veterans Group. The funds from FTX will serve to facilitate most of these varsity projects.
Crypto and Athletics
Chief Operating Officer of FTX, Sina Nader, also weighed in on the deal, enthusing about “crypto’s presence into the collegiate athletics landscape”. Nader, who also attended Cal and participated in one of its athletics teams, called his alma mater “one of the world’s great universities”. The FTX COO shared how passionate he was about the many charitable causes both parties are partnering on and revealed FTX was committing an additional $200,000.
Also, Andy McDowell, vice president, and general manager for LEARFIELD’s Cal Bears Sports Properties has highlighted the deal’s uniqueness. In McDowell’s own words, “This is a landmark agreement in many respects, including payment in cryptocurrency”. He says the FTX deal transcends the world of athletics and supports a historic stadium. McDowell also added that the collaboration would positively impact the entire campus community.
Between 2014-2016, the California Memorial Stadium had a field naming rights partner and was called Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium.
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