A group of FTX platform users is targeting the Mercedes F1 team and Major League Baseball (MLB), alleging that both entities played a role in FTX’s fraudulent activities through their promotional partnerships with the crypto exchange.
On November 27, the plaintiffs filed dual class-action lawsuits in a Florida district court, accusing the companies of actively participating in or aiding and abetting FTX Group’s extensive global fraud, including the promotion of unregistered securities.
In 2021, Mercedes F1 entered into a promotional agreement with FTX, incorporating the exchange’s logo on various assets such as cars, uniforms, and hats. During the same year, MLB also signed a similar deal, making history by featuring FTX’s logo on umpire uniforms.
FTX Users Sue MLB and Mercedes F1 Team Over Logo Displays, Also Target Celebrity Endorsements
The class complaint filing highlighted that the inclusion of FTX.US patches on MLB umpire uniforms was unprecedented in the league’s long history. Similarly, the complaint against Mercedes F1 team emphasized the prominent display of FTX’s logo on cars, merchandise, and marketing materials.
Additionally, the lawsuit noted that FTX actively praised and supported Mercedes F1 and its drivers, creating a perception of trustworthiness among the team’s fans. The synergistic promotion between FTX and Mercedes F1 was deemed crucial to the alleged deception.
The group of FTX users, concurrently pursuing legal action against celebrities who endorsed the exchange, including Shaquille O’Neal and Tom Brady, cited similar accusations related to the promotion of unregistered securities.
Furthermore, several celebrities sought to dismiss the suits, arguing that they did not encourage depositing funds into FTX. Some have settled, including Trevor Lawrence, Kevin Paffrath, and Tom Nash.
FTX Founder Convicted as MLB and Mercedes F1 Cut Ties Amid Bankruptcy
In November, FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried faced convictions on seven charges related to fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering.
Notably, about a year after entering into the promotional agreement, MLB terminated its five-year contract with FTX. This decision came in the wake of FTX filing for bankruptcy in November 2022.
Similarly, in the same year, Mercedes F1 also cut its ties with FTX. This involved the removal of the exchange’s logo from cars and merchandise associated with the team.