Taylor Swift was reportedly in talks to partner with FTX, a Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange in the midst of bankruptcy, months before the company collapsed.
as reported by Financial TimesFTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is in the “final stages of negotiations” with Swift and wants to get the singer involved in a sponsorship campaign tied to her upcoming tour (presumably Swift’s recently announced Eras tour).
The deal, which is said to be worth more than $100m (£820,550), would also have included concert tickets minted as NFTs, similar to the Coachella Key acts that FTX has attended. with the company’s other high-profile sponsorship deals, including sports stars such as Tom Brady, Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen Curry.
According to sources who spoke to The Financial TimesBankman-Fried was enthusiastic about the deal with Swift because she was a known fan of hers – as was senior executive Claire Watanabe, who was “the driving force behind the pursuit of Swift”.
The prospect was reportedly less favored by other executives, including FTX US President Brett Harrison, with one unnamed source saying: “Nobody liked this deal. It was very expensive to begin with. [The price was] really high. It’s the front end of the cost of the football jersey.”
An unnamed former FTX employee said Swift was “concerned that he was not adding value to the business.” [the company’s] user base,” and a third source told the publication that Swift “does not agree to and does not agree to a settlement agreement.”
FTX was launched in 2019 by Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang, and by July 2021 it had become the world’s third largest crypto exchange with over a million users. The company started installing the tanks at the beginning of November this year after giving notice CoinDesk Bankman-Fried’s trading firm Alameda Research held most of its assets in FTX’s proprietary FTT currency.
A few days after the report was published, The Wall Street Journal Alameda reported that $10 billion (£8.21 billion) of crypto assets were withdrawn from FTX users’ accounts to finance the trade – something prohibited by FTX’s own terms of service. The company filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, with executives citing a “severe liquidity crisis.”
Following the FTX crash, many users reported that they were unable to access their crypto holdings, including NFTs such as Coachella Keys. Lifetime passes to Coachella were valued at a total of US$1.5m (£1.2m), but as of last month they were frozen on the now-defunct FTX blockchain.
Tickets for Swift’s ‘Eras’ tour went haywire without FTX; When tickets went on sale last month, Ticketmaster was overwhelmed by “historically unprecedented demand,” leading to excruciating wait times, website outages and high prices on resale sites (including Ticketmaster itself). Later, ticket sales were completely closed.
The dispute has led to calls from US lawmakers to investigate Ticketmaster, with the Senate-backed antitrust commission setting up a hearing on antitrust in the ticketing industry. In addition, two US senators called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to answer for the “steps” being taken to “combat the use and operation of bots in the online ticketing market.”
Swift’s fans also took action to protest Ticketmaster, with about a dozen of them — mostly lawyers — launching the Vigilante Legal initiative. Also last week, a group of fans filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster, alleging that the company violated two laws – California’s Cartwright Act and California’s Unfair Competition Law – during its “verified fan” sales.