- Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has become the latest sports celebrity to partner with FTX.
- The tennis star will receive an equity stake in the crypto platform and be compensated in cryptocurrency, FTX said Monday.
- Osaka will further FTX’s goal of getting more diverse voices involved in crypto’s future, the company said.
Tennis star Naomi Osaka has signed up to promote FTX, as the cryptocurrency exchange looks to diversify its sports celebrity marketing push to bring more women onto its platform.
The four-time Grand Slam champion will get an equity stake in FTX Trading and be compensated in crypto for her role as ambassador, the company said Monday. It did not disclose details of the stake nor which digital currency is involved.
“Our partnership with Naomi Osaka will further our goal of getting more diverse voices involved in the future of digital currency and Web3,” FTX’s CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said in a company statement.
Osaka is one of the first major female professional sports stars to partner with FTX, where she will produce content for a global audience, tapping into her Japanese and Haitian heritage. Boosting opportunities for women in crypto is part of the reason she signed up, she said.
“We have seen the statistics about how few women are part of crypto by comparison, which kind of mirrors the inequality we see in other financial markets,” Osaka said.
She also said the crypto world needs to get back on track towards its original goal of being accessible to everyone and breaking down barriers to entry.
While Osaka isn’t the first sports star to look to capitalize on opportunities in crypto promotion, she does represent a new generation of professional athletes entering the space.
Tennis legend Serena Williams and seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady have made crypto plays, as have basketball stars like Michael Jordan. But Osaka represents a younger demographic, and she is still competing at the highest level of her sport.
As part of the long-term deal, FTX will help Osaka navigate the crypto industry, and she will trade and invest selected digital currencies, though these were not specified. The tennis ace told Bloomberg last summer that dogecoin spurred her interest in crypto.
Osaka has already delved into non-fungible tokens, along with her sister Mari Osaka. She released signed NFT collectibles on Brady’s Autograph platform last summer.
Brady’s NFT platform has grown rapidly over the past year, attracting investment from the likes of A16z, Andreessen Horowitz’ cryptocurrency venture fund. Brady had planned to work on Autograph during his retirement, but has returned to play another NFL season.
The star quarterback took to Twitter to praise Vitalik Buterin on Saturday, suggesting he is a “GOAT” — greatest of all time — despite the ethereum co-founder’s admission that he was unaware of Brady.