Sources: LCS lands 7-year FTX sponsorship deal as first crypto exchange partner of any Riot league

The new partnership will be announced just months after the LCS barred TSM from using the same sponsor in its name.

Photo via Riot Games

The LCS will announce a new seven-year sponsorship deal with FTX, sources familiar with the deal told Dot Esports. 

The news comes just months after the LCS barred TSM from using FTX as a part of its name in the league—which was revealed hours after TSM announced a 10-year, $210 million deal with the exchange. While TSM has rebranded its name on social media and in certain titles where cryptocurrencies are a permitted sponsorship category, it has remained solely known as “TSM” in the LCS.

Under the deal, Riot Games will be able to remove the FTX branding from assets included in its international broadcasts in countries where cryptocurrency and its exchanges are either strictly regulated or other considerations are taken into account, according to a source. That differs this deal from TSM’s, whose new logo and jersey patch would not be able to be removed from the broadcast on demand.

FTX will sponsor a number of LCS segments and graphics, including the most improved player and gold-related graphs and statistics, according to sources. FTX will join a list of LCS sponsors that includes Mastercard, Bud Light, Grubhub, and ROCCAT. The financial terms of Riot’s deal with the crypto exchange were not disclosed. An announcement of the new partnership is expected sometime in the coming weeks.

The cryptocurrency exchange has been on a spending spree in sports and entertainment in 2021. 

Earlier this year, the company won a bid to become the new naming rights partner to the home of the Miami Heat, formerly known as the American Airlines Arena, and became the first cryptocurrency exchange to land such a deal. In June, seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bündchen joined FTX as shareholders. The company also signed a deal with the MLB, which now sees baseball umpires sport the FTX logo on their sleeve. Today, the company announced it’s entering the sports and entertainment non-fungible token (NFT) space. 

FTX is a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange that owns two separate exchanges, FTX and FTX.US, and its own cryptocurrency coin, FTX Token (FTT). Its American site is a limited version of its main exchange due to certain U.S. regulations around cryptocurrency. In the past 30 days, FTX.US has traded more than $2 billion worth of crypto. 

The LCS restricts certain cryptocurrency exchanges and coins from sponsoring teams as a part of its prohibited sponsorship categories. If permitted as a sponsor, activation restrictions similar to those in TSM’s deal are still in place. Several crypto exchanges and companies have entered the esports space, though, with Coinbase—one of the most popular companies in the crypto space—signing a deal with Evil Geniuses in April. Other restricted sponsorship categories include gambling and wagering, fantasy sports or esports, firearms, tobacco products, pornography, and hard liquor and spirits, although beer is currently permitted. 

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