Fallen crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried was reportedly in the late stages of the negotiation for a US$100 million sponsorship deal with Taylor Swift just a few months before FTX collapsed early in November.
According to a report from the Financial Times which cited people familiar with the matter, the deal included a ticketing arrangement that would allow fans to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to pay for Swift’s concerts.
SBF was initially in favor of the deal which was reportedly led by Claire Watanabe, a senior executive in FTX’s business development team. But discussions fell through due to concerns that the expensive deal would not offer FTX much of a return.
“No one really liked the deal,” said an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations. “It was too expensive from the beginning,” adding that the amount was “front of the soccer jersey level.”
Another person close to the discussions said that Swift gave no indication of wanting to endorse the now-bankrupt crypto exchange.
“Taylor would not, and did not, agree to an endorsement deal. The discussion was around a potential tour sponsorship that did not happen,” the person told the Financial Times.
People at FTX were concerned over whether the singer, who’s one of the industry’s biggest names, would reach FTX’s target demographic of retail crypto investors. FTX had previously signed deals for TV and social media spots with sports and entertainment celebrities like tennis star Naomi Osaka, NFL quarterback Tom Brady, NBA stars Stephen Curry and Shaquille O’Neal, as well as supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and comedian Larry David.
Brady, Curry, O’Neal, Bundchen, David, and a few others are under investigation by the Texas State Securities Board over the payments they received for endorsing the failed exchange. They have also been named, along with SBF, in a class-action lawsuit from investors.
Information for this briefing was found via The Financial Times, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.