The meteoric rise and the rapid collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried, and the implosion of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange will probably be documented in many books in years to come. One of the first entrants is “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon” written by Michael Lewis. Recently, Lewis appeared on the CBS TV newsmagazine “60 Minutes” to talk about this crazy but unfortunate real-life story.
One of the more interesting tidbits from the book and the interview is that Bankman-Fried paid NFL superstar Tom Brady $55 million for what was around a week’s work.
Granted, that was a week spread out across three years, but still, it was not a bad deal for Brady. Lewis stated:
“He paid Tom Brady $55 million for 20 hours a year for three years.”
Lewis was granted close access to Bankman-Fried in his final months of FTX. During the FTX winning days, Bankman-fried had a habit of spending huge amounts of money on celebrity endorsements, spending colossal sums to get huge names on board, names like Steph Curry, Tom Brady, and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” auteur Larry David for one memorable Super Bowl commercial.
Based on accounts by Michael Lewis, Steph Curry was paid around $35 million to perform about the same amount of work as Tom Brady, while Larry David got $10 million to star in one Super Bowl commercial for the now-defunct cryptocurrency firm.
That $10 million fee for Larry is in addition to the $25 million that FTX Exchange paid to produce the commercial. The commercial also featured a subtle cameo from Sam’s father Joseph Bankman, who is a huge fan of Larry David.
When news of Bankman-Fried’s supposed crimes and the collapse of FTX first reached Tom Brady, Lewis told “60 Minutes” the quarterback was ‘crushed’ before his attitude changed:
“[Brady] really liked him and he really liked the hope that he brought…As time has gone by and he’s ceased to get a really good explanation about what’s happened, I think [Brady] is just like, ‘He tricked me. I’m angry. I don’t want to have anything to do with it anymore.'”
Now, most of the celebrities who endorsed the FTX exchange, including the other big names like Brady’s ex-wife Gisele Bündchen and Shaquille O’Neal, are facing a class-action lawsuit from FTX investors.