Shamed 'Crypto King' Sam Bankman-Fried's celebrity boosters: How Tom Brady, ... trends now
Sam Bankman-Fried, the Crypto King, was convicted of seven counts of fraud and conspiracy on Thursday night, after the jury deliberated for just a few hours. Despite the conviction, the legal troubles for those involved in FTX are far from over.
During Bankman-Fried's trial, former FTX executive Nishad Singh testified that he felt as though the company's spending on celebrity endorsements was excessive. It's thought that around $1 billion was spent on marketing by the exchange.
This frivolity arguably peaked with its February 2022 Super Bowl ad spend in what became known as the 'crypto bowl,' infamously the commercials featured David paying a historical character who makes a series of incorrect predictions culminating in him saying that he didn't think FTX was a good investment.
Earlier this month, Singh testified that the company's venture investments and $1.1 billion in planned marketing deals, including naming rights to the arena where the NBA's Miami Heat play and featuring NFL quarterback Tom Brady in commercials, 'reeked of excess and flashiness.'
In a separate lawsuit regarding FTX's spending, it's alleged that a Bankman-Fried-controlled shell company used $214 million in FTX funds to buy a stake in celebrity Kendall Jenner's 818 Tequila brand at a time when the tequila company's assets were valued at just $2.94 million.
Numerous A-list celebrities are still facing a major lawsuit following Sam Bankman-Fried's conviction on fraud charges
Tennis star Naomi Osaka said in her commercial: 'I'm proud to partner with FTX. Making cryptocurrency accessible is a goal that FTX and I striving towards'
Brady was filmed at home calling around his friends to sign them up with FTX. The company marketed the ad campaign with the slogan: 'Tom Brady is in. Are you?'
Sam Bankman-Fried stands as the jury foreperson reads the verdict after in his fraud trial on Thursday
Singh also said in his testimony that FTX was put in touch with many stars through the investment firm K5, which Bankman-Fried described as a 'one-stop shop' for brokering relationships with celebrities.
It was earlier reported that FTX executives concocted a plot to get close to celebs by allowing agents to buy into the company for relatively low prices.
The Financial Times reported that there was minimum floor for investors but that agents were allowed to buy in to the brand for fees as low as $25,000 and $50,000.
A former employee told the newspaper, 'Sam granted people from the big agencies an opportunity to throw in like employees.'
Retired NFL star Brady and Gisele, his supermodel ex-wife, are named in the suit as FTX ambassadors who 'joined the company's $20-million ad campaign in 2021' and starred in a commercial 'showing them telling acquaintances to join the FTX platform'.
Gisele told Vanity Fair: 'I was blindsided. I’m no different than everyone else that trusted the hype... It’s just...terrible. I’m so sorry for all of us that this happened, and I just pray that justice gets made.'
The former Victoria's Secret model also shifted the blame on to her financial advisors who made FTX sound like a 'great thing.'
During their relationship with FTX, Brady recorded TikToks with Bankman-Fried and the pair even hosted a talk together at a crypto conference named Winning.
Author Michael Lewis told 60 Minutes in October: '[Brady] really liked him and he really liked the hope that he brought,. As time has gone by and he’s ceased to get a really good explanation about what’s happened, I think [Brady] is just like, "He tricked me. I’m angry. I don’t want to have anything to do with it anymore."'
Tom Brady and now ex-wife Gisele Bundchen appeared in an FTX commercial last year. They're named in a class action lawsuit which alleges the firm's collapse has cost consumers $11 billion
Bundchen looked glamorous on stage with Sam Bankman-Fried at the Crypto Bahamas event. The FTX chief looked awkward as he opted for his usual outfit of scruffy shorts and t-shirt
Steph Curry's advert showed him telling viewers: 'I'm not an expert and I don't need to be, with FTX I have everything I need to buy, sell, and trade crypto safely.'
Shaquille O'Neal also appeared in an FTX commercial
The former world leaders were part of a talk on the FTX