MLB Commissioner: It’s a “Pretty Good Bet” FTX Patches Won’t Be on Umpires Next Season

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said it was a “pretty good bet” that MLB umpires will not sport FTX patches on their uniforms next year during a Thursday press conference.

The partnership has been one of the crypto exchange’s most publicly visible sponsorships to date, and began when FTX became the “official cryptocurrency exchange brand of MLB” in June 2021.

It’s the latest in a slew of high-profile sponsorship deals to fall through in the wake of the exchange’s Nov. 11 bankruptcy filing. Prior to the MLB news, multi-year stadium naming rights deals with FTX were dropped by both the NBA’s Miami Heat and the University of California Berkeley, and a $210 million esports deal with TSM was suspended Wednesday.

Manfred added the MLB has “been really religious about staying away from coins,” calling the agreement “a meaningful deal for us.” He declined to provide specifics on the terms of the deal itself.

“The FTX development has been really jarring,” Manfred said. “We will proceed with caution in the future, how much we have to worry about it depends on when this exactly lands.”

Manfred’s announcement also comes one day after MLB phenom Shohei Ohtani and former slugger David Ortiz were named in a class-action lawsuit against FTX brand ambassadors.

“Individual players take advice from people other than [MLB] on these topics,” Manfred said, adding that the MLB is not a defendant in the suit.