By AILEEN JANEE CORPUS and EMMITT MURPHY
The iconic Staples Center has been standing for 22 years, but on Dec. 25, 2021, it will begin to be renamed the Crypto.com Arena.
The Staples Center sign can be seen in three different parts of the arena. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ETHIC NEWS)
The home of the Clippers and Lakers basketball teams and the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, the Staples Center was offered $700 million from Crypto.com to change their name.
This deal is one of the highest deals in sports, with other deals of this caliber being the $500 million naming deal between Intuit and the Los Angeles Clippers or the $300 million naming deal between Chase and the Golden States Warriors.
During the winter season, an ice skating rink is set up across the Staples Center and many come to skate. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ Ethic News)
According to Investopedia, Crypto.com is a Singapore located cryptocurrency exchange platform “that supports trading, investing, staking, wallets, NFTs and more.” It was founded in 2016 and has a mission to “[a]ccelerate the world’s transition to cryptocurrency.”
They have been diving headfirst into the world of sports, acquiring sponsorship deals with “Formula One, the UFC, Italy’s Serie A, Paris St-Germain, and the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens” according to ESPN. The naming deal will also link Crypto.com as one of the NBA’s top sponsors as well.
In front of the Staples Center on Dec. 5, 2021, many fans can be seen walking around: either enjoying the holiday decorations, lining up for an event, or visiting nearby attractions such as the Grammy Museum and Los Angeles Convention Center. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ETHIC NEWS)
The name change has garnered much attention from fans and players alike.
Former Lakers player and hall of fame Shaquille O’Neal shared his thoughts on the name change in the Big Podcast With Shaq.
“I’m glad they’re taking the name of the Staples Center down because that was our building,” he stated, “[…] Congratulations to the owners for getting a new deal. But hey, the Staples Center belongs to Shaq and Kobe, forever.”
Vannesa Bryant has also spoken out about the name change, tweeting, “[f]orever known as ‘The House That Kobe Built.’”
From a view of the Staples Center’s entrance from Figueroa Street on Dec. 5, 2021, many fans can be seen lining up to enter the arena. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ETHIC NEWS)
Fans have mostly spoken about the name change on social media sites like Twitter. Some have been mourning the loss of the iconic arena’s name like user @LakeShowYo who tweeted “Staples Center signs officially removed… The end of a historic era”.
Other fans have seized the opportunity to joke about the arena’s name, like user @hipstermermaid who tweeted “can’t believe they removed the staples center sign like that” with an image of the sign being removed with a staple remover.
A mural of Kawhi Leonard, a basketball player from Irvine who plays on the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, can be seen on Chick Hearn court and Figueroa street. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ETHIC NEWS)
With Dec. 25 soon approaching and the Staples Center sign being removed, it’s only a matter of time before the Lakers’ home turf is owned by Crypto.com. It is unsure what this could mean for the future of sport’s sponsorships other than the fact that they have changed forever.