Steph Curry and Tom Brady got paid handsomely by FTX, the failed crypto exchange, for 20 hours of work a year.
On Sunday’s edition of 60 Minutes, Michael Lewis—the author of The Blind Side and Going Infinite, a new book on disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried—revealed just how much the sports icons got paid to promote the exchange.
"He paid Tom Brady $55 million for 20 hours a year for three years,” Lewis said. “He paid Steph Curry $35 million for—same thing, for three years.”
Based on that figure, Brady got paid more than $916,000 an hour. Curry’s hourly rate, while less than his football counterpart, is also nothing to sneeze at: The point guard got paid more than $583,000 an hour for his three years of work for the company.
The extent of their branding work for FTX is not fully clear. Brady appeared in at least three commercials, at least two of which prominently featured his then-wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen.
Curry appeared in a tongue-in-cheek advertisement touting his video-editing skills. He also appeared in a viral campaign featuring narration from legendary NBA big man Shaquille O’Neal. That ad touted Curry’s lack of crypto bona fides, boasting that he was “not an expert” in crypto but still was able to buy, sell and trade crypto “safely” with FTX’s services.
The revelations about the celebrity payments come as Bankman-Fried’s trial over seven counts of fraud and conspiracy related to his activities at FTX kicked off in federal court. The trial is expected to last up to six weeks, and Bankman-Fried faces a maximum penalty of 110 years in prison over the charges.
Sports sponsorships were a major part of the marketing strategy for FTX, which plastered its name on Major League Baseball umpire uniforms, Mercedes Formula One racing cars and the Miami Heat arena prior to its bankruptcy.
Shortly after the collapse of FTX, both Curry and Brady were named defendants in a suit in Florida federal court, as well as a Texas state investigation, in connection with their endorsements of FTX. Brady’s posts were removed from his Twitter account shortly after the legal actions. As for Curry, his tweets about FTX are still up on his X page as of Tuesday—nearly a year after the exchange collapsed altogether.
Bankruptcy filings from FTX revealed that Brady and Bündchen were major shareholders in the company alongside New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and institutional investors like Sequoia Capital and SoftBank.
For what it's worth, Larry David—who was reportedly beloved by the Bankman-Fried family—may still have a leg up on the sports legends. Reports indicated the Curb Your Enthusiasm star, who is also a named defendant in that Florida class-action suit, got paid $10 million for one Super Bowl ad.