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The clash between Tom Brady’s aspirations in the cryptocurrency realm and the actual outcome

The clash between Tom Brady's aspirations in the cryptocurrency realm and the actual outcome

Tom Brady’s involvement in the world of cryptocurrency and his dreams of success in that realm collided with harsh reality.

As the cryptocurrency exchange FTX faced a major crisis and eventual bankruptcy, Tom Brady, the renowned quarterback with seven Super Bowl victories, found himself in a difficult situation. He urgently tried to contact Sina Nader, FTX’s head of partnerships, but Nader couldn’t take the call, expressing surprise at declining a call from someone of Brady’s stature.

Brady had valid concerns. As an ambassador for FTX, he had endorsed the company at conferences and in TV commercials, presenting it as a trustworthy institution in the loosely regulated cryptocurrency industry. He had also been paid $30 million in FTX stock as part of his endorsement deal, with his ex-wife Gisele BŁndchen receiving $18 million in FTX stock as well.

However, FTX’s collapse and its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, facing criminal fraud charges led to a lawsuit against Brady and BŁndchen by a group of FTX customers seeking compensation. Additionally, the terms of the deal meant that the former couple would have to pay taxes on their now-worthless FTX stock.

Their situation represents the prominent example of celebrities facing the consequences of their involvement in cryptocurrencies. Many celebrities, including Paris Hilton, Snoop Dogg, Reese Witherspoon, and Matt Damon, had enthusiastically embraced and invested in crypto during the boom times when prices were soaring. However, the crash of the cryptocurrency market in the past year ended their lucrative crypto ventures.

Various legal actions have been taken against celebrities in the crypto space. Kim Kardashian was ordered to pay fines for inadequate disclosures when endorsing a crypto token, and multiple celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Soulja Boy, and Lil Yachty, faced charges of illegally promoting crypto assets. Shaquille O’Neal was even served with court papers while broadcasting a basketball game due to his involvement with FTX.

Start-ups and celebrities have historically had a mutually beneficial relationship, with start-ups gaining credibility and a wider audience through celebrity endorsements. FTX was particularly eager to recruit celebrities for endorsements, and Tom Brady was at the top of the list. Brady’s involvement extended beyond FTX as he co-founded Autograph, a platform for selling nonfungible tokens (NFTs) with a focus on famous individuals.

However, FTX’s collapse resulted in a loss of value for Brady and BŁndchen’s shares, and Autograph faced financial struggles amid the crypto market downturn. Autograph shifted its strategy to focus more on building loyalty between celebrities and their fans rather than marketing crypto tokens.

Some celebrities, like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, managed to avoid the negative consequences of the crypto crash. Perry had discussions with FTX for a partnership that didn’t materialize, while Swift considered a potential deal with FTX worth up to $100 million but eventually opted against it. The last-minute reversal by FTX’s founder left Swift’s team disappointed.

Amidst the fallout, lawsuits, and financial setbacks, Brady’s and other celebrities’ crypto ambitions collided with the volatile reality of the cryptocurrency market, bringing into question the wisdom of their endorsements and investments in the industry.