Baseball Pro Shohei Ohtani Is FTX’s New Superstar Spokesman
Altcoins

Baseball Pro Shohei Ohtani Is FTX’s New Superstar Spokesman

Created 2mo ago, last updated 2mo ago

The Los Angeles Angels’ superstar is the latest in a line of elite athletes including Tom Brady and Steph Curry to become brand ambassadors for the cryptocurrency exchange.

Baseball Pro Shohei Ohtani Is FTX’s New Superstar Spokesman

Table of Contents

The Los Angeles Angels’ wildly popular pitcher/slugger Shohei Ohtani has announced a long-term sponsorship deal to become a global ambassador for crypto exchange FTX.

He’s going to receive all of his compensation in cryptocurrency as part of the deal. In an announcement, the company explained:

“Ohtani will serve as a spokesperson for FTX to further elevate the FTX brand, increasing awareness of the company's platform and digital assets in general on a global scale.” 

The announcement is just the latest in a series of high-profile athlete endorsement and sports marketing deals by Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange, which has been on a sponsorship spree lately, announcing similar endorsement deals with NFL legend Tom Brady and NBA superstar Steph Curry, and signing a $135 million, 19-year stadium naming rights deal with basketball’s Miami Heat. He also paid as much as $6.5 million for a Super Bowl ad.
The deals have been aimed at increasing public awareness about the cryptocurrency and digital asset market generally, as well as FTX — and its American arm, FTX.US — as a doorway into it. So far, it seems to be working. In the third quarter of 2021, FTX.US saw its trade volume surge by more than 500%. 

In the Ohtani announcement, Bankman-Fried said:

"As a company that is revolutionizing the digital asset ecosystem and greater financial landscape, we are continuously looking for partners that share our commitment to being a leader in their respective space. Shohei has become a transcendent player in baseball in just a short period of time and this, combined with his support of digital assets, made it an easy choice to enter into a partnership with him.”

FTX will also support a number of charitable initiatives Ohtani supports, particularly helping animals, Bankman-Fried said.

A Global Brand

Considered a leading contender for the American League’s Most Valuable Player award on November 18, Ohtani is a superstar both on the mound and at the plate — this year he became the first player ever selected for the All-Star Game as both a hitter and pitcher, and has drawn inevitable comparisons to Babe Ruth. He “could soon emerge as [the] new face” of Major League Baseball, a Reuters sports analyst said in July.

While Ohtani is a huge star in the U.S. — a nickname is “Shotime” — that popularity is dwarfed  by the fervor of his support in his native Japan, where he started his career with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball's Pacific League. 

Unfortunately, while Ohtani’s “popularity in Japan is inescapable,” FTX won’t see any benefits there: The exchange does not accept Japanese customers. And, it directs American clients to a separate marketplace: FTX.US.