Crypto Exchange FTX Spends Millions on Tom Brady Ad Campaign

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Sep. 27 2021, Published 3:47 p.m. ET

NFL star Tom Brady's new crypto commercial hypes up the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, but not before making a joke about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback’s age.

In the ad, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, Brady’s wife, asks to talk to him about something. “Yeah, we talked about it,” Brady responds, misunderstanding the topic at hand. “I got another 10 years left. Maybe 15.”

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Bündchen is actually talking about trading crypto on FTX, and Brady—who, in real life, has plenty of crypto experience—is an easy sell. He then calls everyone in his contacts in his phone, including New England Patriots fans still spurned by his move to Tampa Bay.

“I believe I’m in but still hate you,” says a bartender with a Boston accent. “Take care. Best to your family.” (The bartender hangs up the phone and says to his patrons, “Even on the phone, that guy sounds handsome.”)

The Tom Brady crypto ads are an investment in brand awareness for FTX.

FTX’s ad campaign with Brady and Bündchen started airing earlier this month during the NFL’s 2021 season kickoff game between the Bucs and the Dallas Cowboys, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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The previous month, the NFL barred its teams from signing sponsorship deals with cryptocurrency trading firms and NFTs, according to The Athletic. But Dentsu Mcgarrybowen—the ad agency behind the FTX campaign—told AdAge that the Brady-Bündchen commercials can air because the ad buy is with NBC and not with the football league or any of its teams.

FTX’s U.S. affiliate spending $20 million on the campaign, which it hopes will acquaint viewers with the trading platform, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“We’re the newcomers to the scene,” FTX.US President Brett Harrison told The Wall Street Journal, saying the campaign will help the crypto exchange compete with competitors like Coinbase and Kraken.

“We know that we had to embark on some kind of mass branding, advertising, sponsorship type work in order to be able to do that,” Harrison added.

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FTX’s deal with Brady and Bündchen is just one of its forays into the sports world.

In addition to its commercials with Brady and Bündchen, FTX acquired the naming rights to the stadium now known as FTX Arena, home of the Miami Heat basketball team, in a March deal worth $135 million. In June, FTX announced a deal with Major League Baseball through which it became the league’s official cryptocurrency exchange.

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Days after its MLB news, FTX announced its long-term partnership with Brady and Bündchen, through which the athlete would serve as ambassador, the model would serve as environmental and social initiatives adviser, and they would both get equity stakes in the company.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time in the crypto-world and [FTX CEO] Sam [Bankman-Fried] and the revolutionary FTX team continue to open my eyes to the endless possibilities,” Brady said in a press release at the time. “This particular opportunity showed us the importance of educating people about the power of crypto while simultaneously giving back to our communities and planet. We have the chance to create something really special here, and I can’t wait to see what we’re able to do together.”

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