During the dot-com boom two decades ago, high-flying technology companies bought up naming rights to stadiums and arenas, giving the world PSINet Stadium and Enron Field.
Today, cryptocurrencies dominate the business zeitgeist — and the new name of the home of the Los Angeles Lakers will reflect that shift.
The Staples Center, home of the Lakers and other professional sports teams, said on Tuesday that it would rebrand as Crypto.com Arena, named after a cryptocurrency platform based in Singapore. The change will take effect on Christmas Day, the arena said in a statement released late Tuesday in Los Angeles but dated Wednesday.
The statement did not say how much Crypto.com, which was founded in 2016, had paid for the deal. Crypto.com is a trading and services platform for exchanging Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and other virtual currencies, and it claims Matt Damon, the actor, as its pitchman.
Crypto.com struck the 20-year naming-rights agreement with A.E.G., an entertainment company based in Los Angeles that operates the venue. A.E.G. is controlled by Philip F. Anschutz, a billionaire investor.
The arena has been named after the Staples office supply company based in Massachusetts since it opened in 1999. The Staples Center opened as the home venue for a Lakers team dominated by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, who then led it to three consecutive championships. Last year it hosted a memorial for Mr. Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who died along with seven other people in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles.
In addition to the Lakers, it hosts another N.B.A. team, the Los Angeles Clippers, as well as the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League and the Los Angeles Sparks of the W.N.B.A.
Crypto.com Arena will not be the first stadium named after a cryptocurrency brand. Earlier this year, FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong, signed a deal with the Miami Heat and the local authorities — worth $135 million over 19 years — to rebrand the arena where the NBA team plays. Instead of American Airlines Arena, it is now called FTX Arena.
(TSM, an e-sports team based in Los Angeles, also agreed to change its name to TSM FTX — in exchange for $210 million over 10 years.)
Slapping a corporate name on a stadium doesn’t always mean the sponsors will survive and prosper.
Enron, the energy company that also made a big bet on broadband, in 1999 bought the naming rights to the Houston Astros’ home venue and named it Enron Field. When Enron collapsed amid fraud, it agreed to sell the naming rights back to the Astros for $2.1 million.
Around the same time, an internet service provider named PSINet bought the rights to Ravens Stadium in Baltimore and named it PSINet Stadium. In 2002, after PSINet filed for bankruptcy, the name reverted to the original.
Stadium names more recently have been dominated by companies in the banking, telecom and other booming sectors. Citi Field, named for the financial services firm Citigroup, replaced New York’s Shea Stadium in 2009, for instance. T-Mobile Arena opened in Las Vegas in 2016.
Now the Ravens’ home is called M&T Bank Stadium. The Astros, meanwhile, play at Minute Maid Park, which is named after a Coca-Cola brand.