Tennis star Naomi Osaka becomes ambassador for crypto exchange FTX

Naomi Osaka, once one of the world’s top-ranked tennis players, has become the latest sports and entertainment figure to endorse crypto exchange FTX.

In an announcement Monday, FTX noted Osaka will take a stake in the exchange and receive an undisclosed amount of cryptocurrency as compensation for its approval. According to the crypto exchange, the tennis star will be part of a “long-term partnership” aimed at bringing women into space.

“We’ve seen the stats of how few women are in crypto in comparison, which kind of reflects the inequality we see in other financial markets,” Osaka said. “Cryptocurrencies started with the goal of being accessible to everyone and removing barriers to entry.”

As an FTX ambassador, Osaka joined seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen and NBA star Stephen Curry. The exchange said it will “creatively direct and produce content” for global audiences and feature FTX’s logo when competing at the Miami Open, beginning Monday.

The announcement followed FTX founder and CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, who told Australian Blockchain Week that the exchange would open an Australian branch. Local Senator Andrew Bragg said at the same event that he would introduce legislation to address issues of crypto custody, taxation, and the operation of decentralized self-governing organizations.

Osaka, previously ranked as the top singles player by the Women’s Tennis Association, isn’t entirely new to the space. Along with her sister Mari, she launched a collection of non-fungible tokens in August 2021, which sold for around $600,000. The tennis star has also expressed interest in cryptocurrencies, including Dogecoin (DOGE), hinting that token projects “will pop up.”

Related: Australia’s largest crypto exchange to sponsor tennis star Ajla Tomljanovic

Many celebrities, including major sports personalities and movie and TV stars, have become the faces of crypto businesses as the space expands. Actor Matt Damon plugged in an October 2021 commercial that was mocked by comedy shows including South Park and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

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