North American esports organisation TSM has suspended its major $210m (~£148m) naming rights partnership with beleaguered cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
In a statement sent to Esports Insider, TSM said the organisation is suspending its FTX partnership immediately. FTX branding will no longer appear on any TSM jerseys, social media channels nor, most notably, in its name.
The suspension of the partnership deal is the epilogue to a chaotic downfall for crypto exchange FTX.
TSM signed its partnership with FTX in June last year, in what was at the time the largest ever publicly disclosed esports sponsorship deal.
On October 11th, FTX filed for bankruptcy in the United States, leaving its partners scrambling to understand what the implications were for their lucrative sponsorship deals. FTX’s former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried apologised on Twitter for the way things ended up.
FURIA, a Brazilian esports organisation that was also partnered with FTX, cancelled its partnership with the crypto company a day after the cryptocurrency announcement.
On November 14th, TSM shared a statement clarifying the company has been closely following the situation, and was receiving legal counsels on next steps.
Now, TSM has announced it has ‘suspended’ its deal effective immediately, without clarifying if or when the suspension might end. It is not clear whether the fact it was suspended, rather than cancelled as FURIA’s deal was, means there is still a possibility for future collaboration.
FTX also has partnerships with the LCS and Nerd Street Gamers. Neither organisation has commented on those partnerships.
In its statement, the organisation said it may take some time before FTX branding can be removed from its social media due to Twitter’s new policy preventing immediate name changes for verified accounts. “Unfortunately at this time with the changes to Twitter verification, we’re not able to [remove FTX’s name on Twitter],” the company revealed in a Tweet reply.
TSM also once again reitrated its claim that is is stable and profitable, which it first claimed in its November 14th statement.
TSM’s full statement, which was also posted on Twitter, reads: “FTX branding will no longer appear on any of our org, team, and player social media profiles, and will also be removed from our player jerseys. This process may take some time to complete as some social platforms have made changes to their product features.
“The company once again noted that it has no money problems, and is a “strong, profitable, and stable organisation.” According to TSM, the “current situation with FTX does not affect any part of TSM’s operating plan.”