December 2, 2023

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The Sports Fanatics

100 Thieves and Cash App End Deal and Esports Compound Has No Sponsor

  • 100 Thieves and Cash App have ended their sponsorship arrangement, Insider has learned.
  • Block Inc.’s Cash App was the title sponsor for 100 Thieves esports and gaming compound.
  • 100 Thieves once planned to replace Cash App with a crypto sponsor, two former staffers said.

Esports organization and streetwear brand 100 Thieves has ended its high-profile sponsorship pact with the digital-payment company Cash App, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Insider.

The partnership was wide-ranging, touted at the time of its announcement in January 2020 as “the most comprehensive sponsorship deal in esports history.” It called for a 15,000-square-foot Cash App-branded compound in Los Angeles, as well as branding on 100 Thieves jerseys. 

The companies won a Streamy award for “brand engagement” related to the compound partnership in December 2020, and in April 2021, the pair launched a cobranded debit card. The compound, which operates as an office, production studio, and esports training facility, also served as a Los Angeles county voting site in the 2020 general election. 

Whereas Cash App’s branding was previously painted on the side of the building, an October Instagram post featuring the compound revealed a new exterior trim promoting Juvee, a new energy drink colaunched by the company and its founder Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag. The building has previously been painted with other designs to reflect timely promotions.

One former 100 Thieves employee noted that a Cash App-branded lounge inside the building was also slated to be redesigned to promote Juvee as well. 

Two former 100 Thieves employees told Insider that earlier this year they were told the deal ended and that 100 Thieves was seeking a successor sponsor in the crypto space that never came to pass. The company’s subsequent lack of a title sponsor contributed to its decision to conduct layoffs in July, they said.

At the time, the company laid off more than 20 content and social-media staffers at an all-hands meeting, where it said its esports, talent, and marketing divisions were underperforming – though its apparel business was in the green, according to a former employee and screenshots of the presentation viewed by Insider.

Media and tech companies have been laying off employees in droves this year as they’ve grappled with weaker-than-expected advertising forecasts for the coming months. Amid a broader economic slowdown, influencers and managers told Insider that they’d seen a dropoff in brand deals this quarter when compared to Q4 in previous years.

100 Thieves is currently celebrating its five-year anniversary as a brand. It plans to post a series of company announcements this week around apparel, its talent, and its upcoming video game “Project X.”

Representatives from 100 Thieves and Cash App did not respond to Insider’s multiple requests for comment.