Cal Athletics has announced the first collegiate cryptocurrency naming rights sponsorship in which its football field will be known as FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium in a $17.5 million deal that will be paid in full in cryptocurrency.
In addition to field-naming rights, the relationship will feature on-field branding and branding on athletics press backdrops, social integration, as well as the launch of a robust community service platform that will support projects across a variety of philanthropic causes. The Bears’ first game is scheduled for September 4 against Nevada.
Through their new relationship, Cal Athletics and FTX will support and build out a community engagement program for the Cameron Institute for Student-Athlete Development, which helps student-athletes understand the benefits of public service and success through short-term and long-term commitments. These efforts will initially focus on serving communities including the homeless population in Berkeley, underrepresented students and the Cal Veterans Group.
“We believe we have found a great partner in FTX,” Cal Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. “FTX is a growing company at the forefront of innovation in an emerging technology, one that fits well at both Cal and in the Bay Area. This agreement extends well beyond field naming rights, which is part of our strategic plan to diversify revenue streams in support of our student-athlete experience and includes commitments for our Cameron Institute, Cal Veterans and students in need here in Berkeley. We are looking forward to building our relationship now and in the years ahead.”
Cal and FTX share a connection in FTX.US’s Chief Operating Officer Sina Nader, who earned his bachelor’s degree in legal studies from Cal and was also a walk-on member of the Golden Bears football team.
“We’re excited to partner with one of the world’s great universities and expand crypto’s presence into the collegiate athletics landscape,” Nader said. “This historic partnership will also allow us to collaborate on charitable initiatives that align with our organization’s core values. Personally, I am excited to work alongside my alma mater to collaborate with local communities around a variety of causes. In the spirit of giving back, we are also committing an additional $200,000 on top of this partnership, which will specifically be used to help fight homelessness in Berkeley, and to support organizations that help underrepresented student groups at UC Berkeley. “