Crypto Firm XBTO Loses Headline Sponsorship Deal with Messi’s Inter Miami CF

Julia Smith

Last updated:

| 2 min read

Courtesy: Inter Miami CF Communications Department and Royal Caribbean

XBTO has officially lost its place as Inter Miami FC’s headline sponsor, with cruise liner Royal Caribbean taking the crypto firm’s place.

“A significant moment in authentic partnership”

Royal Caribbean confirmed the news in a press release this week, stating that the company will “make its mark front and center on every Inter Miami jersey” beginning this year.

“Today marks a significant moment in an authentic partnership between two South Florida-based powerhouses, both deeply committed to the community we proudly call home,” said Inter Miami CF Chief Business Officer Xavier Asensi. “We eagerly anticipate our players taking the field and sporting the Royal Caribbean logo on our iconic jerseys in front of our incredible fans at our stadium, across the country, and around the globe.”

Soccer’s ties to crypto

Messi has a storied history with the crypto space, most recently kicking off his second year of partnership with crypto exchange Bitget by unveiling a new film about the superstar’s life.

In March 2022, the Argentinian soccer player signed a $20 million deal with digital fan token company However, Messi is not the only famous footballer with close ties to the crypto industry.

In November of last year, Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo was hit with a $1 billion lawsuit for allegedly promoting unlawful NFTs issued by crypto exchange Binance, according to a filing in the Southern District of Florida.

“Evidence now reveals that Binance’s fraud was only able to reach such heights through the offer and sale of unregistered securities, with the willing help and assistance of some of the wealthiest, powerful, and recognized organizations and celebrities across the globe – just like Defendant Ronaldo,” the filing against the soccer superstar reads in part.

Binance’s partnership with celebrities like Ronaldo was clearly designed to use the positive reputation associated with specific celebrities to convince consumers that Binance was a safe place to buy and sell cryptocurrency.”

Still the “crypto capital?”

Inter Miami FC’s move to replace XBTO is the latest displacement of crypto in Miami, despite Mayor Francis Suarez once even dubbing the city as the “crypto capital” of the world.

XBTO’s replacement comes less than one year after the Miami Heat’s home arena was renamed from FTX Arena to the Kaseya Center following the collapse of the crypto exchange.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried recruited a number of famous athletes and high-profile figures, including Tom Brady, Steph Curry, and Naomi Osaka, to promote his now-bankrupt crypto exchange.

XBTO has yet to comment on Inter Miami FC’s new sponsorship deal.

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