The home of the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks is getting a new name. On Dec. 25, the Staples Center will be reborn as the Crypto.com Arena -- or, as some have already nicknamed it, "the Crypt." In October, Crypto.com launched a global ad campaign starring Matt Damon.
The arena name change comes as part of a 20-year deal between Crypto.com, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, and entertainment group AEG, which owns and operates the arena. The LA Times reports Crypto.com paid more than $700 million for the naming rights, which would make it one of the biggest such deals in sports history.
With just 16% of the US population using or investing in cryptocurrency, the name change may come as a shock to many sports fans -- and players. When Clippers point guard Reggie Jackson was told of the change, he responded, "What?"
But this name change is only the most recent example of a cryptocurrency exchange launching the type of high-profile promotional effort previously undertaken by traditional financial services and Fortune 500 corporations. The Miami Heat now play in FTX Arena, named for another crypto exchange (that is also the official cryptocurrency exchange of Major League Baseball). And FTX has purchased ad time during the upcoming Super Bowl.
The new logo for the Crypto.com Arena will debut on Christmas Day this year, when the Lakers face off against the Brooklyn Nets. The arena's signage is scheduled to be completely replaced with the new name by June 2022.