SBF wanted the FTX celebrity spending spree to include a $100 million Taylor Swift sponsorship

December 7, 2022, 8:08 PM UTC
Taylor Swift
FTX was reportedly working to reach a $100 million deal with artist Taylor Swift before negotiations fizzled out in the spring.
Sarah Morris—FilmMagic/Getty Images

Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX pursued a $100 million sponsorship deal with pop music icon Taylor Swift, according to the Financial Times.

Negotiations with Swift, the second-most-streamed artist on Spotify this year, began last fall but fizzled by the spring. The potential deal, according to the FT, would have included a ticketing arrangement featuring NFTs.

If finalized, the agreement would have been one of the most expensive celebrity sponsorships for FTX, which also struck deals with quarterback Tom Brady, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, and basketball stars Steph Curry and Shaquille O’Neal. 

The company had emblazoned its logo on the Miami Heat’s home arena in a $135 million deal, paid to put FTX patches on umpires’ uniforms in Major League Baseball, and sponsored the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 car. But after the company crumbled, most of those deals were scrapped or are being reconsidered. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas team removed logos from their car and drivers’ uniforms, and some signage on the Miami arena has already been taken down.

Former employees told the FT that they were skeptical of an agreement with Swift, with one saying: “No one really liked the deal. It was too expensive from the beginning.”

Another person familiar with the negotiations said that the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter would never have agreed to endorse FTX.

“Taylor would not, and did not, agree to an endorsement deal. The discussion was around a potential tour sponsorship that did not happen,” the person told the FT.

Following FTX’s financial collapse last month, some investors now caught up in the company’s bankruptcy proceedings have blamed their financial losses on celebrities who promoted the crypto exchange.

On Nov. 15, an Oklahoma man filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of FTX users that describes the company as a “Ponzi scheme,” alleging that Brady, Bündchen, Curry, comedian Larry David, and tennis star Naomi Osaka, among others, endorsed unregistered securities. 

It’s unclear why the potential deal with FTX fell through, but unlike several of the celebs mentioned in that lawsuit, at least Swift avoided becoming the real Anti-Hero.

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