The majority of the backlash for 2022’s crypto endorsements came from actors and sports stars, while soccer legends appear to have gotten away with it.
Celebrities had a difficult year promoting crypto firms and projects in 2022.
Many were named in lawsuits for allegedly promoting now-defunct projects, while others were relentlessly mocked on social media for their involvement in the first place.
Many celebrities, from movie stars to television actors, sports stars to musicians, may be regretting their endorsement deals from last year, though there have been exceptions.
In February of last year, Larry David, co-creator of the television series Seinfeld, appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, encouraging users not to “miss out on the next big thing.”
David has since been named in a class-action lawsuit that claims he and other celebrities promoted FTX to inexperienced investors without conducting any due diligence on the exchange.
The Texas State Securities Board is also looking into him in relation to payments received by FTX for endorsements, among other celebrities.
Meanwhile, Matt Damon, best known for his role in the “Bourne Identity” film series, has been mocked for his involvement in the $100 million promotional campaign for Crypto.com.
Damon was even satirized in the season 25 premiere of South Park in February 2022.
On March 21, Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka agreed to become an ambassador for FTX.
Osaka, like Seinfield’s co-creator, is named in a lawsuit, as are other high-profile celebrities who endorsed FTX, such as basketball legends Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen Curry, as well as NFL quarterback Tom Brady.
Floyd Mayweather was also named in a 2022 crypto promotion lawsuit for allegedly promoting EthereumMax, though the lawsuit was eventually dismissed by a federal judge in December.
Snoop Dogg, an American rapper and hip hop artist, has been named in a class action lawsuit for allegedly promoting Bored Ape Yacht Club nonfungible tokens (NFTs), along with Madonna, Justin Bieber, Post Malone, and DJ Khaled.
The lawsuit names over 40 defendants, including tennis player Serena Williams, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and comedians Jimmy Fallon and Kevin Hart.
Surprisingly, not all celebrity endorsements of cryptocurrency firms have been viewed negatively, nor have they drawn the attention of class-action lawyers.
On June 30, 2022, Binance announced the appointment of Khaby Lame, a popular TikTok personality, as an ambassador.
The agreement was viewed positively by the crypto community, as Lame’s ambassadorship is part of Binance’s mission to increase Web3 awareness and adoption globally.
DJ Steve Aoki has entered the world of NFTs, with fantasy sports and sports betting operator DraftKings naming the hitmaker as the brand ambassador for its NFT market.