North American esports org TSM (Team SoloMid) have announced a $210m 10-year partnership deal split between cryptocurrency exchanges FTX Trading Limited and West Realm Shires Services Inc, owners and operators of FTX.com and FTX.US respectively.
As part of this historic new relationship – billed as the largest naming rights partnership in esports history – FTX.com and FTX.US have secured exclusive naming rights for TSM, which will now be known as TSM FTX.
However, TSM will not be allowed to use ‘FTX’ in its name or on its jerseys for the League of Legends LCS in North America, in Valorant or any other Riot-sanctioned events, Jacob Wolf reported for Dot Esports.
Chris Geeley, head of esports for NA and OCE at Riot Games, added: “FTX is approved as a TSM sponsor in the LCS, but we don’t currently permit cryptoexchanges on jerseys or as naming partners. TSM was very collaborative with us as they worked through their partnership.”
TSM FTX now plans to open offices around the world, including one in Europe.
FTX.US has partnered with TSM in relation to the US, and FTX.com internationally.
TSM made the announcement in a lighthearted Twitter video:
With this strategic partnership, TSM FTX will look to invest these resources into esports and gaming over the next five years, including an expansion into new platforms, mobile, opening offices in Asia, Europe, South America and more, and an increased investment in talent development.
Additionally, TSM FTX will distribute cryptocurrency to each of its players and employees as well as purchasing $1m in FTT, FTX’s native token.
“When I met Sam Bankman-Fried, I immediately knew we had to work together,” said Andy Dinh, founder and CEO of TSM. “Not only did TSM FTX fit perfectly as a brand, Sam is an innovative CEO that is in every way ahead of his time. Against all odds as a young ambitious entrepreneur, he has been able to disrupt markets by making smart decisions and by surrounding himself with smart people. He has proven that you can build a multi-billion-dollar business that can grow incredibly fast at scale – all while charging a fraction of what other platforms charge, and creating a culture of community and focus on social impact.
“This deal is extremely important to the future of our organisation, but it was equally as important for me personally to partner with such a visionary leader. Just as a shared passion of gaming connects people around the world across ages, continents and language barriers, Sam built a company that connects the world around a shared value of currency. I am extremely proud he chose to work with TSM.”
Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of both FTX.com and FTX.US, commented: “We’re really excited to work with TSM. Their team has gone above and beyond both in-game and out, and rightfully established itself as the premier team in esports. We’ve also been really impressed working with them: they have the drive, creativity, communication, and generosity that we find combined in very few places.
“In the end our partnerships will only be as strong as we make them, and we think that TSM will be able to help massively expand the presence of digital assets outside the traditional landscape. We’re also proud to work with them to give back to the world.”
To align with TSM FTX’s mission and focus on social impact and giving back, the partnership is set to feature a soon-to-be announced ‘major philanthropic initiative, focused on the shared goals of increasing educational opportunities and developing financial literacy.’
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.