One of the biggest sports and entertainment venues in the US, the Staples Center in Los Angeles, will be renamed after a cryptocurrency company in a multi-million dollar deal.
A Singapore-based firm will pay more than $700m (£520m) for the rights to the 20,000-seat stadium, which will be called the Crypto.com Arena.
It has agreed a 20-year deal with owner Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).
The rebrand will be effective from Christmas Day.
The Staples Center is home to four professional sports teams – basketball’s LA Lakers, LA Clippers and the LA Sparks, as well as ice hockey’s LA Kings.
It has also hosted major boxing events as well as some of music’s biggest stars, including Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift.
The stadium was opened in October 1999 and this would mark its first name change. The office supply company Staples Inc initially paid $100 million for the naming rights for a 10 year period. In 2009, it signed a deal to extend those rights indefinitely.
But in 2019, stadium owner AEG bought the rights back for an undisclosed sum.
Crypto.com launched in 2016. According to its website, the company has some 10 million users and 3,000 employees.
Its main business is running an online exchange that allows users to trade and store cryptocurrencies, but it has recently launched its own token.
The company’s co-founder, Kris Marszalek, told the Los Angeles Times that “in the next few years, people will look back at this moment as the moment when crypto crossed the chasm into the mainstream”.
In recent years, cryptocurrency companies have become increasingly involved in sports sponsorship as the industry seeks to obtain mainstream recognition.
Crypto.com already has more than $400 million worth of sports sponsorship deals, including a high-profile shirt partnership with the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team.
Meanwhile, in June, Major League Baseball announced a five-year partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange company FTX.
And in the UK, Premier League football club Watford recently announced that their new shirt sponsor, Stake, had paid them in cryptocurrency. The club had previously been sponsored by industry giant Bitcoin.Follow us on social media