THE FTX CRASH: Celebrity Deals Uncovered

1ATH.Studio
3 min readSep 11, 2023

With a new story emerging every fortnight concerning the infamous FTX crash that rocked the crypto space in 2022, it is no surprise that there is a new update concerning “weird things’ ‘ involving the currently jailed former FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried.

Following Cryptocurrency’s biggest crash in recent times, there have been revelations from both internal and external sources of the now defunct exchange, detailing how SBF alongside his team which includes CEO of Almeda research and ex-girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, had lavishly spent customer funds in frivolous deals and acquisitions.

Following his arrest, Extradition and subsequent imprisonment at the MDC, New York’s most notorious Correction center, there has been wave after wave of revelations of the weird things that SBF had done with investors’ money. It was revealed a month ago that the “disgraced ex-crypto bro” alongside his brother, Gabriel Bankman-fried had planned to purchase an entire island Country with customer funds (The Island nation of Nauru).

Barely two weeks after that shocking revelation, news trooped in from investigators interaction with SBF’s sweet heart, Caroline Ellison, who revealed that SBF was so weird that during their relationship, the Almeda research CEO kept a “List of things Sam is Freaking out about”

Coming into the new week, we have yet another buster revelation! Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX have spent millions of dollars of customer funds to keep promoting the exchange right until its infamous crash in November 2022.

According to court documents related to the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings, the defunct cryptocurrency exchange disbursed hundreds of thousands of dollars in high-profile marketing and sponsorship deals to notable celebrities, including Shaquille O’Neal, Naomi Osaka, and David Ortiz.

A court filing presented to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware by FTX’s current management unveiled an extensive list of celebrities, enterprises, and sports teams that were beneficiaries of payments throughout its marketing campaigns. While FTX admitted that the list might not be exhaustive regarding all deposits and repayments, the company is endeavoring to pinpoint all preceding payments to determine how much can be recovered to offset its liabilities.

Payments to several celebrities, who were prominently featured as FTX endorsers before its downfall, are documented in the list. Based on the filing, FTX allocated nearly $750,000 to NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, approximately $308,000 to tennis icon Naomi Osaka, around $206,000 to Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and close to $271,000 to former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz.

Some of these celebrities have been entangled in lawsuits initiated by FTX creditors regarding their endorsement of the platform. Both O’Neal and Osaka have been named in a class-action lawsuit, launched in a Florida federal court in May, alleging them of endorsing interest-bearing accounts, which were in actuality unregistered securities.

For a considerable duration, FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried, heavily invested in glamorous promotional activities spotlighting influential personalities. SBF often entertained renowned guests like NFL star Tom Brady, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair at his Bahamian residence. FTX even acquired the naming rights to the Miami Heat’s stadium and shelled out in excess of $6 million for a 30-second Super Bowl commercial earlier this year.

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