Failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in high-profile marketing and sponsorship deals to celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal, Naomi Osaka, and David Ortiz, among others, according to the documents. in court in ongoing bankruptcy proceedings.
In a filing in court Filed in the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware by the current management of FTX, the company revealed a detailed list of celebrities, businesses, and sports teams that received payments over the years as part of its marketing blitz.
The company acknowledged that the list itself “may not reflect a complete list of all deposits and payments,” but said it was working to identify all outstanding payments made in previous years to it will be seen how much it can recover to cover its debts. .
The list includes payments made to several celebrities who were shown to be prominent supporters of FTX before it collapsed.
According to the filing, FTX paid nearly $750,000 to former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, about $308,000 to tennis star Naomi Osaka, nearly $206,000 to Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and about $271,000 to former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz.
Some of these celebrities are already subject to lawsuits by FTX’s creditors over their promotion of the company, which finally exploded in November. O’Neal and Osaka are both included in a class-action lawsuit filed in a Florida federal court in May accusing them of illegally promoting interest-bearing accounts that were actually unregistered securities.
For years, FTX and now-disgraced founder Sam Bankman-Fried put a lot of effort into glitzy promotions featuring the rich and powerful.
SBF regularly hosts guests at his home in The Bahamas such as NFL quarterback Tom Brady, former President Bill Clinton, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The company continues to buy naming rights for Stadium of the Miami Heatsand spent over $6 million for 30 seconds Super Bowl ad in February.
The current FTX team is exploring its options for recovering funds that have been given to sponsors over the years as a way to pay off its huge debts. However, it acknowledged that the final amount obtained “could differ materially from the amounts reported” in the filing.