The esports giant TSM FTX is suspending its blockbuster sponsorship deal with the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange and is dropping FTX from its name.
“After monitoring the evolving situation and discussing internally, we’re suspending our partnership with FTX effective immediately,” TSM wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “This means that 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.”
We’ve suspended our partnership with FTX effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/u8vQSWnAbX
— TSM (@TSM) November 16, 2022
TSM also cautioned that the change might take some time to roll out on social media, and at least for a little while, the old name was showing up on Twitter. TSM’s head of social media said it fixed its Twitter display name by “giga giga” spamming the save button.
FTX signed a massive sponsorship deal to pay TSM $210 million over 10 years in 2021, according to The New York Times, and as part of the arrangement, TSM agreed to change its name to TSM FTX. (TSM stands for Team SoloMid, and I’m just going to call it “TSM” for the rest of the article.) The deal marked a significant influx of annual cash for TSM, which is particularly important in the volatile and murky esports industry, and it put the FTX brand in front of fans of one of the most valuable esports companies in the world. FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is also a big fan of League of Legends, which TSM competes in.
Despite the change, TSM maintains that it will be okay without FTX’s support. “TSM is a strong, profitable and stable organization,” it wrote. “We forecast profitability this year, next year and beyond. The current situation with FTX does not affect any part of TSM’s operating plan, which was set earlier this year.”
TSM isn’t the only big brand distancing itself from FTX. The NBA’s Miami Heat used to play in the FTX Arena, but the team is now on the hunt for a new naming rights partner. Mercedes’ Formula 1 team has suspended its deal with FTX as well, meaning the logo will be removed from the team’s car. FTX also signed a seven-year sponsorship deal in 2021 with the League Championship Series, the professional League of Legends circuit where TSM competes. Riot Games hasn’t replied to a request for comment on the status of that deal.