Office supplies are out. Decentralized currencies are in. On Tuesday night, the live-events company Anschutz Entertainment Group announced the new name for its stadium, which hosts the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and Sparks. Good-bye, Staples Center. Hello, Crypto.com Arena.
According to the Los Angeles Times, AEG sold the name to the downtown venue for the next 20 years to the cryptocurrency exchange based out of Singapore that recently expanded its American advertising budget. The $700 million naming-rights deal appears to be the largest of its kind to ever take place in the United States; the signage will begin switching over on Christmas, for the Lakers game with the Brooklyn Nets.
“In the next few years, people will look back at this moment as the moment when crypto crossed the chasm into the mainstream,” Marszalek told the L.A. Times from his home in Hong Kong, perhaps forgetting that the Miami Heat already has a stadium named after a cryptocurrency exchange. The deal will also include an “activation space” near the entrance to the arena, where visitors can have “crypto-centric interactive experiences for sports or music fans” next to the statue of Magic Johnson, per the Times.
The Staples Center is hardly one of the hallowed names among the sports arenas of the country, considering that it was only opened in 1999 and was named after a store where Americans used to buy pens. But it does have a tremendous amount of history in its 22 years, including two Stanley Cup championships and six NBA Finals victories. More importantly for the aesthetically minded people of Los Angeles, the name is symmetrical. It does not carry something as undignified as a domain dangling off the end. But as the Crypto.com Arena, the building joins the ranks of clunky corporate rebrands of other major-sports stadiums throughout the country, like the Quicken Loans Arena, the Smoothie King Center, and the Guaranteed Rate Field.