Stunning $55M Tom Brady Deal Surfaces as Shohei Ohtani, Steph Curry and Naomi Osaka Await Controversial FTX Trial

Published 10/03/2023, 11:02 AM EDT

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Shohei Ohtani has once again won over baseball lovers in 2023. With a marvelous performance on both sides of the ball, the Japanese sensation has become a huge fan favorite. But while his play may be beloved, one of Shotime’s off-field activities has landed him in trouble. NFL legend Tom Brady, NBA star Stephen Curry, and Japanese tennis phenom Naomi Osaka are all in the same leaking boat with him.

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While these athletes have massive on-field earnings, endorsements bring in significant revenue as well. One common source of earning for individuals of different backgrounds is cryptocurrency. While its volatile nature is familiar, the investment avenue is one many are exploring. But some famous names, including these four athletes, might have made a mistake with FTX.

Tom Brady’s FTX Deal Numbers Come to Light as Shohei Ohtani Awaits Trial

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In November 2022, FTX unexpectedly filed for bankruptcy. It was an unforeseen collapse of one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto hedge funds. CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried underwent an intense legal investigation and is about to go on trial. Meanwhile, users who invested through FTX are in trouble, and they’re placing the blame on celebrities who endorsed it.

One of the biggest of them is Tom Brady, who had a deal worth $55 million for FTX promotion, according to “Going Infinite” author Michael Lewis. For Steph Curry, the numbers were at $35 million. Lewis told CBS’ 60 Minutes, “He [Bankman-Fried] paid Tom Brady $55 million for 20 hours a year for three years. He paid Steph Curry $35 million for the same thing for three years.”

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Oklahoma resident Edwin Garrison sued the CEO last year, in addition to Brady, Curry, Ohtani, Osaka, and other athletes associated with FTX. Unfortunately, a class-action lawsuit against FTX filed in the U.S. District Court in Miami also names these athletes as defendants. Ohtani’s legal team fought for a dismissal from the case, claiming he was not a Florida resident and had not purposefully targeted the plaintiffs.

Bankman-Fried goes on trial Tuesday and the results of the hearing will directly affect the athlete’s names associated with FTX. Sadly, this wasn’t the only deal between the crypto exchange and MLB.

The Irony of FTX and MLB Relations

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Sports individuals weren’t the only part of the now-bankrupt company’s dealings. In addition to celebrity endorsements, FTX held naming rights for the Miami Heat arena for 19 years and committed $135 million for that time. Furthermore, the organization also sponsored the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and the Mercedes F1 team.

But the most ironic transaction was with MLB, whose umpires had an FTX logo put on their uniforms. As Bill Shaikin of the LA Times put it, “Imagine that: baseball’s arbiters of fairness and justice, brought to you by a company alleged to have run a Ponzi scheme.”

WATCH THIS STORY – Stephen Curry, Tom Brady, and Naomi Osaka Helped Crypto Company Rise From $90 Million to Over $1 Billion in a Year

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While wronged individuals await SBF’s trial, baseball is looking forward to postseason enjoyment. Fortunately or unfortunately, Shohei Ohtani is not playing in October yet again, which might keep him away from media scrutiny.

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Written by:

Arunima Bhanot

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Arunima Bhanot is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. Her tryst with MLB was accidental, but what followed was nothing short of a pursuit of excellence. Arunima's articles have been recognized as Editor's Picks on multiple occasions, highlighting her exceptional attention to detail and insightful coverage.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj

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