Nov 16, 2022 - Technology

Esports team TSM's FTX exit complicated by Twitter chaos

Screenshot of a tweet from TSM stating, in part: "We've suspended our partnership with FTX effective immediately."

Screenshot: Twitter

Top esports team TSM found itself in the midst of two of tech's biggest storms as it suspended its $210 million naming rights deal with failed crypto exchange FTX.

Driving the news: TSM announced the deal's suspension today, but initially said it was unable to remove one of the core things FTX paid for, the exchange's name in the team's Twitter handle.

  • As it announced the deal's suspension, that handle still read as "TSM FTX" to the esports organization's 2 million followers.
  • Asked by Twitter users why it hadn't dropped "FTX" from the display name, the main TSM account replied: "Unfortunately at this time with the changes to Twitter verification, we're not able to."
  • Two hours later those letters were successfully dropped. The team's social media manager attributed it to a workaround: spamming the save button.

Between the lines: TSM and FTX were one year into an eye-popping 10-year deal largely tied to the team's social media presence and its jerseys.

  • All of that is being removed as quickly as possible.
  • "We forecast profitability this year, next year and beyond," the team said in a statement, saying the loss of the sponsorship was survivable.
  • The org also confirmed that it does not have any cryptocurrency on its balance sheet, and has not possessed any of FTX's FTT token since the second quarter of this year.

The big picture: Groups tied to FTX are rapidly trying to create distance, while those reliant on Twitter are grappling with Musk's volatile approach.

  • Last week, the Miami Heat and Miami-Dade county announced they were ending their $135 million arena naming rights deal with FTX.
  • Musk has said name changes should work properly by the end of the week.

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