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Welcome to the first ‘crypto Super Bowl’: crypto ads to run during the big game for the first time

Crypto is coming to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl fans are used to seeing ads for Budweiser BUD, -0.34% and Coca-Cola KO, -1.55% during the big game. Now bitcoin BTCUSD, -1.08% and ethereum ETHUSD, -1.60% are getting some time to shine.

Yes, for the first time ever, the Super Bowl will feature ads from cryptocurrency exchanges when the Cincinnati Bengals face the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

“Cryptocurrency is becoming more mainstream every day,” Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, told MarketWatch. “These companies are desperately scrambling to bring in new customers. People sign up for a particular firm to invest in cryptocurrency and they tend to stay with that firm.”

NBC, the NFL broadcast partner that is televising the Super Bowl, has stated that multiple 30-second ads for this year’s game went for over $7 million per slot, which is a 20% increase from 2018.

And one of the companies shelling out millions for Super Bowl commercial time is crypto exchange FTX.

FTX CEO Sam Bankman sees the Super Bowl’s nearly 100 million-person audience as a good way to inform the masses about his company — and cryptocurrency, in general.

“There is no bigger, more mainstream event to share a message like that than the Super Bowl,” Bankman said about buying the ad time. FTX has also signed endorsement deals with major athletes like Tom Brady and Stephen Curry. is joining FTX in its multi-million dollar ad spending spree for Super Bowl ad time. The cryptocurrency exchange app and platform based in Singapore is continuing its huge marketing push in the sports world that includes inking a $175 million kit sponsorship with the UFC, as well as a $700 million stadium naming rights deal with the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers. For Sunday’s game, could be showing its infamous “Fortune favors the brave” commercial featuring Matt Damon.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that FTX and were buying ad time during Sunday’s Super Bowl. In fact, 40% of this year’s Super Bowl commercials come from new advertisers, including FTX and, NBC reported. In comparison, last year’s Super Bowl had 26 new advertisers, while both 2019 and 2020 had just seven first-timers, according Variety.

But if bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptos have been around for years, then why are these exchanges only now spending big on Super Bowl advertisements and other marketing initiatives in the sports world?

The answer could be that crypto exchanges seem to have identified that sports and sporting events are home to their perfect customers and biggest fans.

“The idea of sports, and the idea of winners and losers, that tends to work well when it comes to crypto investing,” Calkins said. “This idea that you can win by investing in crypto probably aligns perfectly with this sporting event.”

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