Cryptocurrency company Tron and its founder Justin Sun just found a new low: co-opting the tragic death of Kobe Bryant to promote their project and conference.
In poor taste, the Tron Foundation Twitter account proclaimed Bryant a “member of the TRON family.” While Justin Sun himself dressed up a “Tron souvenir” with a Lakers jersey . Both Sun and the foundation used the memorial to promote their upcoming niTron Summit.
Justin Sun has a long history of capitalizing on every possible marketing opportunity, but this is too far.
Kobe Bryant’s children are at home without their dad and their sister this morning.
He is not “part of your family.”
Shut the hell up.
Kobe Bryant spoke at a Tron event in 2019. He talked only of his entrepreneurial journey and certainly didn’t endorse the Tron project or its cryptocurrency. Tron was even forced to admit there was no connection or endorsement :
“We can’t draw any conclusions about [Kobe’s] involvement in blockchain” – Tron spokesperson.
Sorry, but paying Kobe Bryant to speak at your conference and take a picture together doesn’t make him an advocate or mascot of your dying cryptocurrency.
Justin Sun is no stranger to turning every opportunity into a disingenuous marketing event. He famously paid $4.57 million to have lunch with Warren Buffett – an appointment he later cancelled after getting sufficient media coverage.
He incorrectly announced an “official partnership” with Liverpool FC before the football club denied any involvement. Then he announced a partnership with a multi-billion “mega-corporation.” It turned out he bought some cloud computing resources from Baidu.
Just this week, he proclaimed an absurd “partnership” with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. He didn’t. They just went for lunch.
Sun’s history of disingenuous marketing is well-known and laughed off in the cryptocurrency industry now.
But this is too far. Kobe Bryant leaves a family and children in grieving. He leaves a generation of sports fans and professional athletes in mourning.
This is not a marketing opportunity. This is tragic. Do better.