• At the start of the season, every spectator in a section of FTX Arena was given $500 in cryptocurrency

  • The international cryptocurrency exchange also provided each spectator with a T-shirt that was linked to an exclusive Opening Night FTX Arena NFT.

    FTX, a major cryptocurrency exchange, gave $500 in cryptocurrency to each spectator in one section of the FTX Arena during the Miami Heat’s season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.

    In addition to the cryptocurrency giveaway, each fan in the stadium received a T-shirt with a QR code that gave them access to an exclusive ‘Opening Night FTX Arena NFT.’

    Fans will undoubtedly wonder if the free cryptocurrency giveaway will become a regular occurrence at Miami Heat games, with unconfirmed social media speculation that a different section may be given cryptocurrency each game to increase excitement.

    Messari founder Ryan Selkis did some back-of-the-envelope math and determined that with 21,000 spectators in the arena and 80 seating sections, the giveaway would cost around $150,000 — a pretty good bang for the buck, given how well the stunt went viral.

    FTX paid $135 million in April to rename the Miami Heat NBA arena FTX Arena for the next 19 years — a bold move given the company’s age of only two years.

    “Don’t underestimate the power of this sponsorship,” podcaster Anthony Pompliano wrote.

    Udonis Haslem, a three-time NBA Champion and Miami Heat legend, has been named the game’s ambassador for FTX’s “You In, Miami?” campaign. FTX says it intends to collaborate closely with Haslem to promote cryptocurrency in the greater Miami area.

    “I’m excited to share my community with FTX and collaborate with them to raise cryptocurrency awareness,” Haslem said.

    The promotional blitzkrieg is the latest in FTX’s ongoing campaign to target sports fans in order to attract more mainstream consumers.

    Blockfolio, FTX’s price index app, signed an endorsement deal with top NFL draft pick Trevor Lawrence in May. It also recently signed a $210 million deal to sponsor the eSports team TSM, renaming the team TSM FTX for the next ten years, and has been a major league baseball sponsor since June.

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