By Webb Wright, NY Reporter

April 7, 2022 | 3 min read

FTX is looking to Major League Baseball, and one of its biggest stars, to build awareness of its crypto exchange platform.

First it was comedian Larry David during the Super Bowl, and now it’s MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani during the beginning of the 2022 Major League Baseball season. It appears FTX is going all in on sports and big-name stars to quickly build awareness of its crypto exchange platform.

During a 2017 press conference, the Anaheim Angels’ Ohtani sought the public’s help in choosing a nickname for him. His name, coupled with his prodigious talents as a pitcher and a hitter, make for fertile creative potential. In its latest ad, FTX – a bit late to the nickname-selection process – pokes fun at some of the hypothetical and more outlandish ideas that could be conceived. Examples from the video spot include “Titan of the two-way,” “The king of the ding,” “Two-way Shohei” and “The prime-time of Anaheim.”

But as one of the characters in the ad points out, Ohtani doesn’t stand out only because of his talents on the diamond; “he’s also into crypto, NFTs ... what about ‘The great Cryptohtani?’” To which Ohtani replies: “Maybe,” suggesting that the nickname-selection process will never truly come to an end.

Ohtani – who was selected as last year’s American League MVP – was introduced as a FTX brand ambassador in November. He was given stake in the company and paid entirely in crypto. “Shohei isn’t just an athletic force – he’s a first-mover for financial autonomy,” FTX co-founder and chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried said in a statement. “To truly shake up the future of finance, we know our exchange can’t be one-dimensional.”

The new ad arrives shortly after the 2022 Super Bowl, which featured ads from a slew of crypto brands. FTX’s ad from the big game featured Larry David as an immortal curmudgeon who refused to accept that history’s most consequential innovations – from the wheel, to coffee, and then finally to cryptocurrency – were going to be anything more than temporary fads. “Don’t be like Larry,” the ad warns. After the game, FTX’s ad was given the accolade of ‘Most Comical’ by USA Today’s Ad Meter Replay Ratings.

Crypto’s substantial presence during this year’s Super Bowl ad line-up was a strong indication of the industry’s growing mainstream appeal.

The script for the new FTX ad was written and approved during the shoot for its Super Bowl ad, and production took place during the weekend of the Big Game. “The multitasking was real,” the company said in a statement. DentsuMB created both ads.

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