Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has plenty of non-football business interests. He may soon have one fewer.
FTX is currently teetering toward bankruptcy.
The owner of the company, Sam Bankman-Fried, acknowledged the possible implosion of the company. I won’t pretend to understand the details or an industry I haven’t tried to figure out (and probably couldn’t even if I did), but I know this — when the owner of any company candidly admits “I fucked up” on Twitter, things aren’t good.
Brady won’t lose any of his own money. He received an equity stake in exchange for becoming a brand ambassador. And he put his own brand in motion to help promote FTX, in an obvious effort to enhance the value of his sliver of the operation.
His most recent tweet mentioning FTX was posted on October 15, as the presenting sponsor for Brady’s “TB Times” graphic prior to a game in Pittsburgh that the Buccaneers lost.
In a nutshell, FTX got caught in a liquidity crunch. Binance had a tentative deal in place to bail out FTX. That deal has recently fallen apart, sparking what could be a death spiral for the company and rendering Brady’s piece of the pie potentially worthless.
And it’s not just Brady. He and his ex-wife received ownership in the company in 2021, with Brady becoming the brand ambassador and Gisele Bundchen named the company’s environmental and social initiatives adviser. They appeared in a commercial in which the premise was Brady “wants a trade,” hinting it was about football before making it clear it was about making transactions on the FTX platform.
FTX also has a naming-rights deal with the Miami Heat’s home venue, an MLB sponsorship that includes umpire patches, and an arrangement with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas racing team in F1.
Obviously, Brady won’t go broke. But his crypto play could soon be going bust. And his carefully-cultivated TB12 brand necessarily will take a hit, given that he aligned with — and actively promoted — a business that could soon be collapsing like a proverbial house of cards.