Chief executive Sam Bankman Fried's marketing efforts would include naming rights for sports stadiums and paying A-list influencers to advertise his crypto exchange, often with affiliate-type links that earned them a percentage of referral fees collected by FTX.

Udi Wertheimer

Maximumist anti-Bitcoin Udi Wertheimer has spent more time mocking Bitcoiners than safeguarding his own followers from altcoin scams. He endorsed the exchange for months and repeatedly endorsed his own affiliate links for FTX sign-ups.

Now that many of his followers have been rekt, he has added a disclaimer that he, too, was duped by FTX. He also confronted victims of spreading 'FUD,' or fear, uncertainty, and doubt, about Coinbase.

Anthony Pompliano

Investor Anthony Pompliano, who supported the exchange several times in the first half of 2022, is one of the FTX influencers. Among his tweets was a giveaway related to his podcast. He denied shilling the exchange or its native token, FTT after FTX declared bankruptcy.

Kevin O'Leary

Following the collapse of FTX, Shark Tank investor Kevin O'Leary chose not to withdraw his FTX endorsements. In testimony before the US Congress on Wednesday, he accused Binance of intentionally creating FTX's demise.

O'Leary had a vested interest in FTX's success, including the $15 million that would have paid him to endorse it. He and several other influencers are now being sued for promoting the exchange.

Curb, Larry David This year's Super Bowl commercial featured Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm. In the advertisement, he compared the invention of cryptocurrency to historical breakthroughs such as the light bulb.

The commercial's point was that users could help invent crypto with FTX, a technology comparable to the wheel, transoceanic exploration, the light bulb, airplanes, or space travel. 

Tom Brady

Michael Livieratos, a New England Patriots fan, has filed a lawsuit against Tom Brady. Livieratos claims he lost money after transferring digital assets to FTX after seeing the American football star in a commercial promoting the company. The advertisement was part of a long-term agreement between FTX and Brady that gave him a large stake in the exchange.

The transaction was different from Tom Brady's first foray into the digital asset space. In June 2021, he tried to show his support for Bitcoin by changing his profile picture, but it backfired not only because of his altcoin promotion but also because of a comical price call.

At the same time, Brady's now ex-wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, was added to the list of influencers. She struck a similar deal in which she received an equity stake in the now-bankrupt exchange. Bündchen was also appointed as an adviser on environmental and social initiatives by FTX.

Steph Curry

Steph Curry, a Golden State Warriors basketball player, signed a sponsorship deal with FTX in September 2021. He solicited advice from his Twitter followers but appears to have ignored it.

Raoul Pal

Raoul Pal, a former Goldman Sachs employee, called it "unsettling" that Binance appeared to pick a fight with FTX just before the exchange’s bankruptcy.

Pal described a Terra LUNA-affiliated protocol's 20% annual percentage yield (APY) as "basically risk-free" just weeks before it fell to nearly $0.

Francis Suarez

Miami's mayor Francis Suarez worked hard to transform the city into a digital asset hub. Efforts ranged from major conference hosting to the creation of MiamiCoin, which turned out to be a scam. In addition, he attempted to invite FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried to Miami.

Suarez fueled Bankman-interest Fried's in Miami, where he purchased the naming rights to the Miami Heat's home stadium. Before its bankruptcy, FTX US was just days away from opening an office in Miami and had posted a video tour of its new offices in Brickell.

Since the company's demise, Suarez has quickly forgotten his praise for FTX's relationship with Miami. The City of Miami has already removed the branding from its downtown Miami Heat stadium.

How do you think that exchanges can better manage their relationships with influencers? Drop your comments by sharing this article on social media. 

Dec 26, 2022
Digital Lifestyle

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