During the dot-com boom two decades ago, top tech companies bought the naming rights to stadiums and arenas, giving the world PSIN and Stadium and Enron Field.
Today, cryptocurrencies dominate the air of business – and the new Los Angeles Lakers’ house name will reflect that change.
Staples Center, home of the Lakers and other professional sports teams, announced on Tuesday that it would rename Crypto.com Arena, named after a Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform. The change will take effect on Christmas Day, the arena said in a press release released Tuesday night in Los Angeles but dated Wednesday.
The statement did not specify how much Crypto.com, which was founded in 2016, paid for the deal. Crypto.com is a trading and service platform for the exchange of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other virtual currencies, and it claims Matt Damon, actor, like its pitchman.
Crypto.com has entered into a 20-year naming rights agreement with AEG, a Los Angeles-based entertainment company that operates the venue. AEG is controlled by Philip F. Anschutz, a billionaire investor.
The arena has been named after Massachusetts-based office supply company Staples since it opened in 1999. The Staples Center opened to host a Lakers team dominated by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, who then led to three consecutive championships. . Last year, it hosted a memorial for Mr Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who died along with seven others in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles.
In addition to the Lakers, it hosts another NBA team, the Los Angeles Clippers, as well as the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League and the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA.
Crypto.com Arena will not be the first stadium named after a cryptocurrency brand. Earlier this year, FTX, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange, signed a deal with the Miami Heat and local authorities – worth $ 135 million over 19 years – to rename the arena where plays the NBA team. Instead of American Airlines Arena, it is now called FTX Arena.
(TSM, a Los Angeles-based esports team, also agreed to change their name to TSM FTX – in exchange for $ 210 million over 10 years.)
Slap a company name on a stadium does not always mean sponsors will survive and prosper.
Enron, the energy company that also made a big bet on broadband, in 1999 bought the naming rights to the Houston Astros’ hometown and named it Enron Field. When Enron collapsed amid fraud, it agreed to sell the naming rights back to the Astros for $ 2.1 million.
Around the same time, an Internet service provider named PSINet purchased the rights to Ravens Stadium in Baltimore and named it PSINet Stadium. In 2002, after PSINet filed for bankruptcy, the name reverted to the original.
More recently, stadium names have been dominated by companies in banking, telecommunications and other booming industries. Citi Field, named after financial services company Citigroup, replaced New York’s Shea Stadium in 2009, for example. The T-Mobile Arena opened in Las Vegas in 2016.
Now the Ravens’ house is called M&T Bank Stadium. The Astros, meanwhile, play Minute Maid Park, which is named after a brand of Coca-Cola.