The stage, which is the home of NBA teams the Lakers and Clippers, as well as the national hockey league‘s Kings and Sparks of the National Women’s Basketball Association, have had the same name for 22 years.
But Crypto.com, a website that allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, is reportedly paying $700 million over the next 20 years for the renaming. It is considered the most expensive naming rights deal in history.
Staples, the stationery and stationery company, paid $100 million for its name on the 20,000-seat stadium under a 20-year deal.
“In years to come, people will look back on this moment as the moment when crypto crossed the divide into the mainstream,” Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek told the LA Times.
“This is just such a brilliant move by the guys from… [venue owner] AEG, because the next decade belongs to crypto.”
Founded in 2016, Crypto.com has spent a lot of money in the global sports landscape over the past year.
The platform has signed highly visible sponsorship deals with Formula 1, the UFC, Italian Serie A, Paris St-Germain and the NHL Montreal Canadiens – while also purchasing the Philadelphia 76ers uniform sponsorship patch.
AEG, the majority-owned sports and entertainment conglomerate in the Kings and owned the Lakers until last summer, built the arena that quickly became a famous setting for major events in the US’s second-largest metropolitan area.
Along with its sports tenants, the arena has hosted 19 Grammy Awards ceremonies, three NBA All-Star Games, two NHL All-Star Games, and numerous high-profile concerts, performances and major public events, including memorials to Michael Jackson, Nipsey Hussle, and Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers have won six NBA Championships during their tenure in the cavernous arena, including three in a row in their first three years in business. Banners commemorating the Lakers’ 17 NBA titles hang high on the walls above the playing floor, perhaps the building’s most distinctive interior design feature.
The Sparks have won three WNBA titles at the Staples Center, and the Kings won their first two Stanley Cup championships there in 2012 and 2014, both on home ice.
The Clippers will be short timers in the Crypto.com Arena. They are slated to open the $1 billion, 18,000-seat Intuit Dome owned by owner Steve Ballmer in Inglewood in 2024, when their Staples Center lease expires. The Sparks could also leave the center, although nothing has been decided yet.
NBA stars have tested the waters of crypto and blockchain technology. Shaquille O’Neal recently released its own collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which revolve on the Ethernity chain and feature five choice moments from the player’s career.
The NBA itself also partnered with Dapper Labs, the blockchain game company behind CryptoKitties, in August 2019 to create ‘Top Shot’ NFTs of video highlights from player history.
Additional Reporting by Associated Press