Crypto.com purchases naming rights to iconic 'Staples Center' for $700 million

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Kris Marszalek, Crypto.com CEO, joins 'TechCheck' to discuss the company's purchase of the naming rights to the outgoing 'Staples' Center, which will be named Crypto.com Arena on December 25. Marszalek explores the overall cryptocurrency space and where he sees its future heading. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi

The Staples Center will be renamed for Crypto.com next month in a $700 million deal for the naming rights to the home arena of the Los Angeles Lakers and WNBA’s Sparks.

The deal, announced Tuesday night, links Crypto.com with Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Staples Center and surrounding complex, L.A. Live. The downtown arena is the home court to the Lakers, Clippers and National Hockey League’s Kings franchise.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but a person familiar with the deal told CNBC it was a 20-year contract worth $700 million.

That makes the deal one of the richest naming rights agreements in sports. In September, the Steve Ballmer-owned Clippers agreed to a $500 million deal with financial management tech company Intuit. And Chase Bank in 2016 struck a 20-year, roughly $300 million naming rights deal with the Golden State Warriors.

The Crypto.com name change will take effect on Christmas Day, as the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets in the National Basketball Association’s annual Christmas Day games. That game will be aired on Disney-owned ABC and ESPN.

“This partnership is about the future,” AEG president and CEO Dan Beckerman said in a statement. “AEG and Crypto.com not only share a vision about innovation and the future of sports and entertainment, but we also have a shared commitment to our communities where we work and live. We look forward to partnering with Crypto.com to create meaningful initiatives to bring that vision to life in the years to come.”

Staples reportedly paid $116 million over 20 years, starting in 1999, for the naming rights to the arena. The parties extended the agreement in 2009 amid the Great Recession.

The deal links Crypto.com with one of the NBA’s top brands, offering crucial brand awareness as the cryptocurrency platform positions itself to capture market share in the growing digital currency space.

The Lakers have won 17 NBA titles, tied for most in NBA history, and have one of the league’s biggest stars in LeBron James on their roster. The franchise is worth $5.5 billion, according to Forbes. That’s third-highest in the NBA behind the Warriors and New York Knicks.

Crypto.com boasts more than 10 million users on its platform and allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. The company earns revenue from transaction fees.

The firm also has sports partnerships in a $100 million deal with Formula 1 racing and a sponsorship with the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.

More sports leagues are embracing cryptocurrency sponsorships, as the digital currency market gains traction among retail investors and leagues and clubs seek to rebound from Covid pandemic losses.

Major League Baseball and New York-based Drone Racing League also struck crypto-related sponsorships. The Portland Trail Blazers landed the NBA’s first crypto jersey patch. And the Miami Heat named their home arena after crypto platform FTX last March. That deal is for 19 years and is valued at $135 million.

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