Celebrities had a challenging year in 2022 promoting crypto projects and firms. Many were caught in lawsuits for allegedly promoting failing projects, others were viciously criticised on social media, and some got away with their involvement.
Who got burned?
In February of 2012, comedian Larry David appeared in an FTX advertisement and was then named in a class action lawsuit alleging that he promoted FTX to inexperienced investors without conducting adequate research on the exchange.
Meanwhile, the actor Matt Damon has continued to be criticised for endorsing Crypto.com’s $100 million advertising campaign. Even the animated sitcom South Park satirised Damon in the February 2022 premiere of season 25.
If you bought $1,000 of bitcoin the day Matt Damon’s “Fortune favors the brave!” commercial came out, it would now be worth $375 pic.twitter.com/rp5IdjBD3m
— 🦀 Jon Schwarz 🦀 (@schwarz) June 13, 2022
On March 21, Naomi Osaka, a tennis star, became an FTX brand ambassador. Osaka is named in a lawsuit alongside other prominent endorsers of FTX, including Stephen Curry, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tom Brady.
Floyd Mayweather was in a crypto marketing lawsuit in 2022 for allegedly promoting EthereumMax, but a federal judge dismissed the action in December.
Snoop Dogg and other singers, including Justin Bieber, Madonna, and Post Malone, have been accused in a class action complaint for allegedly marketing Bored Ape Yacht Club nonfungible tokens (NFTs).
Who got away with it
Not all celebrity sponsorships of cryptocurrency companies have been perceived negatively, nor have they garnered the scrutiny of class-action attorneys.
Binance announced on June 30, 2022, that it had recruited prominent TikTok star Khaby Lame as an ambassador. As part of Binance’s objective to boost Web3 awareness and use worldwide, the Lame ambassador arrangement was viewed as favourable for the crypto industry.
DJ Steve Aoki entered the world of NFT when fantasy sports and sports betting provider DraftKings named him as the brand ambassador for its NFT market.
During the Video Music Awards, Eminem and Snoop Dogg performed their NFT track “From The D 2 The LCD,” featuring Otherside and Bored Ape NFTs.
In sports, David Beckham became the global ambassador for DigitalBits and launched his line of NFTs. Even though the founders of DigitalBits were charged in a lawsuit filed by investors, he seemed to have evaded any accusations of misconduct.
Cristiano Ronaldo’sRonaldo’s entry into cryptocurrency sponsorship appears well received by the community. Working with Binance to produce a unique NFT collection, collectors can acquire perks such as a personal greeting from Ronaldo and signed products.
Meanwhile, the great soccer player Lionel Messi has signed contracts with Bitget, Sorare, and Socios.com.