The home of the Lakers is changing its name to Crypto.com Arena
One of Los Angeles' most iconic sports and entertainment venues is rebranding after two decades.The Staples Center will go from bearing the name of an office supply retail chain to that of a cryptocurrency platform when it becomes the Crypto.com Arena next month.That's thanks to a new agreement between AEG — which owns and operates the venue — and Singapore-based Crypto.com. They will unveil the arena's new logo and branding materials when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas Day, according to theannouncement, and all of its external signage will be replaced by June 2022."This partnership is about the future," Dan Beckerman, AEG's president and CEO, said in a statement. "AEG and Crypto.com not only share a vision about innovation and the future of sports and entertainment, but we also have a shared commitment to our communities where we work and live."The 20,000-seat venue hosts more than 240 events each year and has an especially storied history. Among other distinctions, it's the official home of local teams like the NBA's Lakers and Clippers, the NHL's Kings and the WNBA's Sparks The arena has hosted 19 of the last 21 Grammy Awards shows and held memorials for public figures including Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson.The Staples office supply retailer bought the naming rights to the venue — which opened in 1999 — at the cost of $116 million for 20 years.ESPN and other outlets report that Crypto.com is paying $700 million over 20 years to rename the building, in what is believed to be the richest naming rights deal in sports history. The agreement also makes Crypto.com an "official cryptocurrency platform partner" of the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Kings, according to the announcement.So what will this new arrangement look like for spectators? Lots of Crypto.com signage and branding, including in the form of a 3,300 sq. ft "activation space" at the building's entrance and "dedicated activation areas" throughout the arena.Crypto.com and AEG also say they want to work with the community to prioritize sustainability and local engagement. In the news release, they note that AEG was one of the first companies to adopt a greenhouse reduction goal based on the 1.5 ̊ C global warming limit recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Crypto.com is committed to becoming carbon negative by the end of 2022. Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.