Staples Center renamed Crypto.com Arena



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Staple Center naming rights Image: Crypto

On November 16th, Crypto.com, the world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform, and AEG, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, have launched a historic, 20-year naming rights agreement that will rename the AEG-owned and operated Staples Center (US), one of the most iconic and globally recognized sports and entertainment arenas in the world. Crypto.com paid more than $700 million for the naming rights, according to sources familiar with the terms, making it one of the biggest naming deals in sports history.

The ‘ASM Global’ stated that effective December 25th, 2021, the multipurpose arena, which hosts hundreds of annual marquee events and serves as the official home of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA’s) Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers, the National Hockey League’s (NHL’s) LA Kings and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA’s) Los Angeles Sparks, will be known as Crypto.com Arena. This agreement also makes Crypto.com an official cryptocurrency platform partner of the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Kings.

Founded in 2016, Crypto.com today serves over 10 million customers with the world’s fastest growing crypto app, along with the Crypto.com Exchange and Crypto.com DeFi Wallet. Crypto.com NFT is the premier platform for collecting and trading non-fungible tokens (NFTs), carefully curated from the worlds of art, design, entertainment, and sports.

With headquarters in Singapore and over 2,600 people in offices across the Americas, Europe and Asia, Crypto.com is accelerating the world’s transition to cryptocurrency.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, California (US), AEG is the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company. The company operates in the following business segments: Facilities, which through its affiliation with ASM Global, owns, manages or consults with more than 300 pre-eminent arenas, stadiums, convention centers, and performing arts venues around the world.

The 20,000-capacity Staples Center is a multipurpose arena in Downtown Los Angeles. Adjacent to the L.A. Live development, it is located next to the Los Angeles Convention Center complex along Figueroa Street. The arena opened on October 17th, 1999. Beginning December 25th, 2021, the arena will be known as the Crypto.com Arena, Staples Center has clearly established itself as the sports and entertainment center of the world. As the home of four professional sports franchises – the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the Los Angeles SparksStaples Center has proven to be a home court advantage for the local teams. The AEG-owned and operated arena continues to distinguish itself as the host of major, high-profile events of national and international distinction including the 2004 and 2011 NBA All-Star Games, 2002 and 2017 NHL All-Star Game, 2000 Democratic National Convention, 2009 World Figure Skating Championships and 19 of the last 21 Grammy Awards shows. Staples Center’s 22 years have also been marked with performances and special events that brought international stature to the downtown Los Angeles venue.

The ‘ASM Global’ further stated that to kick off the partnership, AEG and Crypto.com will unveil the new logo and other branding assets including internal arena signage of the newly named Crypto.com Arena on Christmas Day, when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets. All of the venue’s external signage will be replaced by June 2022.

Since opening its doors in 1999, the iconic arena has served as the backdrop to some of the most memorable and prolific sports and live entertainment moments and events to have taken place in the last 20 years and together, through this partnership, AEG and Crypto.com will help shape the next 20. Each year, the world-class venue hosts over 240 major high-profile events of national and international distinction and over four million guests with events ranging from professional sports, concerts, family and award shows, boxing, and special events. It has also hosted some of the biggest headlining names and shows in music and live entertainment.

This partnership, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, places the Crypto.com brand at the center of some of the biggest and most important sports and live entertainment moments set to take place over the course of the next two decades. It also underscores the rapidly growing influence and widespread adoption of Crypto.com’s cryptocurrency platform and NFT marketplace worldwide.

Remarked Crypto.com Co-Founder and CEO, Kris Marszalek, “Known as the Creative Capital of the World, the City of Los Angeles and the people who call it home have always been pioneers, pushing the boundaries and innovating as the undeniable global leaders of culture and entertainment. We’re very excited about partnering with AEG and investing long term in this City, starting with Crypto.com Arena in the heart of downtown, and using our platform in new and creative ways so that cryptocurrency can power the future of world class sports, entertainment and technology for fans in LA and around the world.”

Located in the heart of the entertainment capital of the world, the 20,000-seat, award-winning arena has become a global symbol of excellence that has not only redefined and revitalized downtown Los Angeles, but has also helped set the industry standard for best-in-class facility management for other leading venues of prominence around the world.

Noted Todd Goldstein, Chief Revenue Officer, AEG, “This partnership represents the fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform and the biggest sports and live entertainment company in the world converging to drive the future of sports and live entertainment as well as the incredible legacy of this arena for decades to come. It marks an exciting new chapter in the history of our company and our respective industries, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a visionary partner like Crypto.com supporting our global fan base and local community.”

As the exclusive naming rights partner, Crypto.com will engage millions of sports and entertainment fans each year through premium branded areas of the arena including a 3,300 sq. ft activation space at the building’s entrance, as well as dedicated activation areas on the main concourse of the arena and throughout the L.A. LIVE campus. Additionally, the new relationship will see Crypto.com featured prominently across the venue with large-scale, premium branding and signage throughout the interior and exterior of the facility.

Asserted Dan Beckerman, President and CEO of AEG, “This partnership is about the future. AEG and Crypto.com not only share a vision about innovation and the future of sports and entertainment, but we also have a shared commitment to our communities where we work and live. We look forward to partnering with Crypto.com to create meaningful initiatives to bring that vision to life in the years to come.”

Crypto.com and AEG are committed to working in the Los Angeles community to prioritize sustainability and community engagement. AEG was one of the first companies to adopt a greenhouse reduction goal that’s based on the 1.5 ̊ C global warming limit recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Crypto.com committed to becoming carbon negative by the end of 2022 by offsetting more carbon than is generated by all activities across the organization.

Negotiations were led on behalf of AEG by Nick Baker and Russell Silvers, Co-Chief Operating Officers of AEG Global Partnerships and on behalf of Crypto.com by Steven Kalifowitz, Chief Marketing Officer of Crypto.com and Gilad Rodkin, Senior Vice-President of Marketing of Crypto.com. Both sides acknowledge that the process moved quickly to a close due to a mutual understanding of each other’s businesses and a shared desire to collaborate and create something truly unique for the future of Los Angeles and fans around the world.
 

‘Brilliant move’

The ‘Los Angeles Times’ stated that Marszalek hoped that the new name will come to be seen as a sign of the times – “In the next few years, people will look back at this moment as the moment when crypto crossed the chasm into the mainstream. This is just such a brilliant move from the guys at AEG, because the next decade belongs to crypto. And this positions L.A. and this particular venue right at the center of it.”

Beckerman said that a blockchain finance company was just the thing for downtown L.A. – “It’s a bit of a match made in heaven, when we think about the type of brands that we like to partner with. Crypto.com is looking for the most unique branding platform to make a statement and drive adoption, and we’re looking for an innovative, forward-thinking company to help us chart a course for the future of sports and entertainment events.”

The ‘Los Angeles Times’ further stated that AEG and Crypto.com are still working out exactly how far the partnership will go beyond the name, but integrating cryptocurrency payments into the arena and online purchases may be on the horizon.

Visitors will see one clear change at the entrance to the arena from L.A. Live, adjacent to the statue of Magic Johnson, where 3,300 square feet will become a dedicated Crypto.com “activation space” featuring crypto-centric interactive experiences for sports or music fans. Crypto.com has also signed with the Lakers and Kings as their official crypto partner.

The storied venue got its original name in December 1997, when then-booming Staples Inc. paid $100 million for the rights for 10 years. Beckerman, who was the Chief Financial Officer of AEG when the arena complex was first being developed, said that the value of the name was less of a sure thing back then – “When we were selling the arena, nobody knew what it was, nobody knew what it could be. Downtown was very different than downtown is today.”

But after Staples Center became the home of the Lakers squads that Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal led to three consecutive championships in the early 2000s, after the downtown district around the center developed into a revived tourist and residential district, and after the venue became frequent host to major events such as the Grammys, its place in the City’s cultural landscape solidified.

Staples signed a deal in 2009 for naming rights in perpetuity – but AEG bought the naming rights back for an undisclosed sum in 2019. The pandemic put the search for a new name sponsor on hold, but the Crypto.com deal came together quickly after conversations began at the end of summer.

Staples’ fortunes have declined since the late ‘90s, but the office supply company still has more than 1,000 stores across the country and has been on the Fortune 500 list for the last 21 years. Crypto.com is 5 years old, and its business relies on a form of money that has been officially banned in China – though the company says it complies with all relevant regulation in the countries where it does operate. Marszalek has never attended a game at Staples Center. The Christmas game will be his first visit. But AEG’s Beckerman said he was impressed by the company’s commitment to the arena – “The long-term piece of this is actually most important to us, and they shared this vision.”

He described AEG as “bullish” on cryptocurrency more broadly.

Crypto.com paid more than five times as much for the rights to L.A.’s arena – but Marszalek isn’t worried that the investment might not pan out – “There’s not a shadow of doubt in my mind that it was worth it. My level of conviction is 100 percent.”

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