- FTX, the erstwhile crypto exchange, reportedly rejected a $100 million tour sponsorship deal with singer-songwriter Taylor Swift.
- Celebrities who did endorse FTX were later sued after the exchange went bankrupt in November 2022, indicating Swift dodged a bullet.
FTX’s Swift Reversal on the Deal
In a surprising development in the crypto industry, the defunct exchange FTX appears to have rejected a significant partnership with renowned artist Taylor Swift. An insider report suggests that the globally adored singer-songwriter had agreed to a $100 million tour sponsorship deal with FTX, contrary to previous claims that Swift had turned down an endorsement deal.
The spotlight was initially on Swift for her hesitation regarding FTX’s due diligence on security tokens. Still, a recent report from CNBC contradicts this, stating that Swift had signed the sponsorship agreement and had forwarded it to FTX’s then-CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). Despite extensive negotiations over six months, SBF abruptly dropped the deal, allegedly influenced by a group of executives.
Decision Backed by FTX Executives
According to earlier reports by the Financial Times, the decision to reject the deal had support within the company. High-ranking officials, including Brett Harrison, the former US FTX President, and Ryne Miller, the US general counsel, were among those who disapproved of the deal. The key points of contention were the deal’s enormous cost and its perceived inability to add value to FTX’s user base.
The intent of the advertisement was to target potential cryptocurrency traders, and doubts were raised whether Swift’s endorsement would effectively reach this demographic.
Despite the initial agreement, Swift’s partnership not going through with FTX ultimately worked in her favor. Post the exchange’s bankruptcy in November 2022, celebrities such as American comedian Larry David, American footballer Tom Brady, and basketball player Stephen Curry, who endorsed FTX, faced legal action. Notable personalities like former basketball player Shaquille O’Neal and Tennis player Naomi Osaka were also implicated.
Prior to these developments, Swift had a minimal presence in the crypto space, focusing more on owning her own data, notably her music. Following a dispute with one of her old labels, she had re-recorded and re-released many of her albums in 2021. SBF, meanwhile, faces a criminal trial for alleged fraud at FTX, set to commence in October, alongside the ongoing bankruptcy case for the crypto exchange.