Staples Center to Become Crypto.com ArenaDate Written: November 26 2021 Written By: Richard Sullivan
Staples Center is set to change its name to Crypto.com Arena on Christmas Day, as part of a 20-year deal between the Singapore cryptocurrency exchange and AEG, the owner and operator of the sports arena. Since 1997, the arena has acted as the home for the Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and Sparks, building a history that has caught the attention of advertisers. The arena was first named Staples Center back in December of 1997, when Staples Inc. paid $100 million for 10 years of naming rights. At the time, Staples was booming, and the arena was still breaking ground and working to make its own history. Now, the arena looks to make a name for itself yet again, bringing cryptocurrency to mainstream culture.
A Deal Between Two Juggernauts
Anschutz Entertainment Group, known as AEG, is renowned for their ownership of some of the world’s most prominent sports teams and sports events. The sporting and music entertainment presenter is the world’s second largest presenter of live music and entertainment, following only Live Nation. Some of the most notable names owned by AEG include the Los Angeles Kings and the Los Angeles Galaxy, as well as popular venues like L.A. Live and the O2 Arena in London, England. AEG is also the owner of Staples Center, now set to become Crypto.com Arena.
Since 1997, the Staples Center has become one of the most prolific sporting arenas in the country, acting as the home for the Los Angeles Lakers who went to three consecutive championships with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in the early 2000s. In the past 20 years, the area surrounding the arena has gone through a tourism and residential revival, while the arena itself has hosted other major events including the Grammys. Over time, the arena has become an increasingly more enticing advertising opportunity for any company willing to foot the bill required for the arena to bear their name.
Crypto.com is still in its infancy. The exchange has only existed for about five years, and public opinion has wavered about the legitimacy of cryptocurrency as a viable currency in modern economies. That being said, Crypto.com has over 10 million users and 3,00 employees with a suspected revenue growth of 2000% over the past year, making it one of the industry’s most prolific cryptocurrency exchanges. Crypto.com allows users to use the exchange to trade cryptocurrencies, store them in an online account, and even access them via a Visa rewards debit card. Since the company’s launch, they have expanded their operations to include an NFT wing, cryptocurrency payment software, as well as a number of other experimental products.
A Big Price Tag Leading to a Big Reveal
Crypto.com reportedly paid more than $700 million for the naming rights to Staples Arena. If the reported figures are accurate, the new naming deal is one of the biggest naming deals in sports history. Officials at both AEG and Crypto.com believe that the naming agreement is a lucrative move for both parties. AEG Chief Executive Dan Beckerman feels that Crypto.com is precisely the type of forward-thinking company to help AEG pave the way for the future of sports and entertainment events.
The deal officially goes live as of December 25, 2021, when the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA’s Christmas showcase. That day, Staples Center will officially reveal its new name and logo: Crypto.com Arena. Crypto.com’s chief executive Kris Marszalek is set to attend his first ever game at the arena on Christmas day for the big reveal. Marszalek spoke with the LA Times and shared his belief that the new partnership not only promotes cryptocurrency to the mainstream but also positions Los Angeles at the center of the future of crypto.
New Deals Could Mean New Promotions
AEG and Crypto.com have begun brainstorming additional promotions that the partnership could bring, such as integrating cryptocurrency payments into the arena or through online purchases. It is possible that AEG and Crypto.com could explore NFT promotions as well. Last year, the NBA partnered with Dapper Labs, a Canadian crypto firm, to create a series of NFTs that gave fans the opportunity to buy and sell crypto tokens tied to NBA highlight clips. That partnership led to nearly $230 million in sales, and a similar concept could start the latest partnership off on the right foot.
While the latest deal is both groundbreaking and exciting, it is not necessarily unique. Crypto.com has recently struck other deals with the UFC, Formula 1 racing, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Montreal Canadiens, the Italian Lega Serie A Soccer League, Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, and Twitch Rivals. In the NBA, American Airlines, the home of the Miami Heat, announced a crypto-related rebrand of their own last March. The famous arena has since taken on the name FTX Arena, marking a similar partnership with an industry-leading cryptocurrency exchange in an attempt to make a cryptocurrency exchange a household name.
The past few years have brought a number of crypto partnerships that have helped bring cryptocurrency to the mainstream, bringing crypto exchanges that were complete unknown five years ago into the limelight.