FTX’s appetite for big-money acquisitions shows no sign of abating with the exchange appointing a new head of global luxury partnerships.
The crypto exchange spent the last year playing catch-up to rivals Coinbase and Kraken, but is now eyeing the thus-far untapped luxury brands market.
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Model-turned-beauty entrepreneur Lauren Remington Platt is the new hire. Her brief: to track down and bag big-name brands in a market worth $300bn.
Exchanges are digging deep and spending big
At three years old, however, FTX is a relative newcomer and has some way to go to pass its rivals. But with a valuation of $32bn, it has deep coffers and is not averse to splashing out on big signings.
FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said Platt “will be essential for the next phase of growth of our team’s partnerships and branding focus”.
“We are thrilled to have Lauren join FTX and lead our next marketing foray into luxury partnerships.
“Her wealth of experience in the fashion and luxury space will be essential for the next phase of growth of our team’s partnership and branding focus,” he said in a statement.
Platt will report to FTX’s head of environmental and social initiatives, Gisele Bündchen. The former model founded Vensette, a beauty consulting firm partnering with brands like Vogue and Chopard, before stepping down last Dec.
The move into luxury brands marks a change in strategy for the exchange. In Sep 2021, FTX partnered with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team to display the FTX logo on drivers and vehicles.
Superbowl advertising slots sold for $7m
And earlier this month the exchange even managed to convince Larry David to appear in his first-ever advertisement, shown during the Super Bowl, where 30-second spots were going for $7m.
FTX said it has been particularly focusing on branding and sponsorship opportunities in the sports industry to “capitalize on high-visibility moments and spread brand awareness.”
A report by financial services company Jefferies last Dec identified the under-35s as the largest demographic involved with cryptocurrency.
Flavio Cereda, and luxury brand analyst at the company, said that on a recent trip to New York, conversations with store managers and assistants appear to flag the under 35s cashing in cryptocurrency profits to buy art, expensive jewelry, apparel, and accessories.
“Our conversations would indicate as much as 20%-25% of sales may have been generated by this phenomenon,” the analyst said.
The luxury brands market is estimated to grow by $73bn by 2025.
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