FTX And Crypto's Crash: Is Marketing, Sponsorship And TV Advertising To Blame?

Making a new consumer-facing business look normal and easy is reasonable through marketing -- even when it comes to the often tricky world of investing.

That was FTX's plan -- the high-profile cryptocurrency exchange, now disgraced, that filed for bankruptcy.

Some might blame the lack of regulation for a business that seemingly had little understanding and underpinning. But maybe also blamed the patina of normalized marketing --- TV through commercials, buying naming right signage on a big sports arena like in Miami.

In 2021, Miami-Dade County commissioners approved a 19-year, $135 million naming-rights deal with FTX to change the name of the American Airlines Arena to FTX Arena. Now the arena wants FTX out.

It’s not just FTX contributing to the normality of a business still deemed the wild west by many. It wasn't that long ago -- on NBC's airing of the “Super Bowl” -- we witness plenty of TV commercials with one big box office movie star, Matt Damon, fronting for, touting that “fortune favors the brave.”



So FTX exchange backers, and investors on the services itself, still feeling brave? Collateral damage  from the FTX fallout has also been affecting other providers and investors in the business.

FTX also had a slew of big-name celebrity/athlete marketing promoters -- the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, tennis star Naomi Osaka,  basketball great Shaquille O'Neal, the NFL's Tom Brady, model Gisele Bundchen, "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" creator Larry David, and others.

Should we be blaming marketing, social media, and star appeal for the dramatic fall?

FTX spent $60 million on national TV advertising from November 2021 to November 2022, according to plunked down $83 million during that period.

Millions more were paid to celebrity endorsers. A recent lawsuit against FTX said the company was operating a “Ponzi” scheme using “the biggest names in sports and entertainment ... to raise funds and drive American consumers to invest.”

New investment products are, of course, always a risk, And in advertising you can find many end-of-marketing-message warnings for potential consumers/investors that markets can go up and down -- sometimes dramatically.

Deep down, veteran investors all know the drill. And if you have been paying attention to any TV business shows of the last several years, and via other platforms, the fragile cryptocurrency market has seen its share of market troubles of late.

The FTX lawsuit specifically blames the company for Americans losing up to $11 billion. But should the finger -- in part, even tangentially -- also be pointed at the advertising-supported media as well?

2 comments about "FTX And Crypto's Crash: Is Marketing, Sponsorship And TV Advertising To Blame?".
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  1. Jim Thompson from Temple University, November 18, 2022 at 2:48 p.m.

    I'm having a hard time determining if this opinion piece was meant as satire.

  2. Ben B from Retired, November 18, 2022 at 9:07 p.m.

    Crypto needs to be regulated as it's the wild wild west since the stock market is regulated. It's time for crypto to be the same way but I don't get crypto why I never got into it.

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