Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo and Olympic snowboarder Scotty James, both brand ambassadors for crypto exchange OKX, are well aware of the risks involved in promoting the wrong thing. This became clear when FTX collapsed and markets crashed just months after they signed on with OKX. The negative publicity and lawsuits surrounding comedian Larry David and NFL quarterback Tom Brady’s endorsement deals with FTX exemplified the potential risks.
Even Hollywood actor Matt Damon faced backlash from various sources, including South Park and Stephen Colbert, for his Super Bowl commercial promoting Crypto.com right before the market crash.
Ricciardo joined OKX in May 2022, and he initially had reservations about cryptocurrency due to its mixed reputation. He explained that he carefully evaluates opportunities and knows when to decline offers that don’t align with his values.
As one of the most popular F1 drivers, Ricciardo has a team that helps him navigate potential controversies. Prior to the interview, his team prohibited direct questions about FTX and closely monitored the interview process.
OKX’s Chief Marketing Officer Haider Rafique played a crucial role in the exchange’s strategy to become the “first crypto lifestyle brand.” OKX secured multimillion-dollar sponsorship deals with prestigious sports franchises like F1 team McLaren and the UK Premier League team Manchester United. Maintaining trust was a priority for OKX, and Rafique emphasized the value of the exchange’s monthly proof of reserves reports.
Ricciardo acknowledged that establishing trust was essential for his involvement with OKX. He praised Rafique for building a personal relationship with him and providing education and information about cryptocurrency.
However, as shown by Matt Damon’s experience with Crypto.com, due diligence can only mitigate risks to some extent. While the exchange itself did not collapse or face accusations, Damon’s reputation suffered due to the market crash and the poorly timed message of his endorsement.
Scott James, a four-time Olympian and a friend of Ricciardo’s, also joined OKX with a personal connection to Ricciardo and an existing interest in NFTs. Despite initial reservations, James was reassured by OKX’s efforts to simplify and educate users about cryptocurrency and trading.
Both Ricciardo and James acknowledged the potential impact of their influence on their respective audiences. They believe that younger generations have the power to change the narrative around investing, including cryptocurrency.
While the pair jokingly discussed releasing NFTs during their appearance at Token2049, Rafique clarified that this would not happen until markets recover. Instead, they intend to utilize NFTs to bring fans closer to them in a meaningful way.
It is worth noting that the future of OKX and its brand ambassadors heavily relies on the recovery and stability of the cryptocurrency market.
– [Negative Publicity and Lawsuits over FTX Endorsement Deals](https://cointelegraph.com/news/crypto-ad-deals-for-super-bowl-lvii-fell-apart-after-ftx-collapse-report)
– [Backlash Faced by Matt Damon for Crypto.com Commercial](https://cointelegraph.com/news/south-park-destroys-matt-damon-s-crypto-com-ad-in-season-premiere)
– [OKX’s Sponsorship Deals with McLaren and Manchester United](https://twitter.com/okx/status/1696085547008037067)
– [OKX’s Monthly Proof of Reserves Reports](https://cointelegraph.com/news/okx-crypto-exchange-enters-final-stage-of-hong-kong-vasp-license-application)
– [Younger Generations and the Potential for Change in Investing](https://cointelegraph.com/magazine/nft-collapse-and-monster-egos-feature-in-new-murakami-exhibition)
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