KEY POINTS

  • TRON has a history of manipulative marketing tactics
  • Crypto users think that TRON is just capitalizing on Kobe Bryant's demise as a way to promote their failing company
  • Sun paid $4.57 million to have lunch with Warren Buffett but cancelled it after getting the media attention he needed

After Kobe Bryant's untimely death, TRON Foundation, announced on Monday that the next niTROn Summit would be dedicated to the late NBA legend. However, not everyone in the crypto space saw this as a genuine gesture, but a mere attempt at generating hype for the company's failing crypto.

Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant and seven other passengers, shocked and devastated not just the basketball community, but also everyone who had been inspired by the Los Angeles Lakers superstar. The people who loved Bryant are still in the process of grieving, which is why TRON's move to attach the former Lakers player's name in their promotion has been viewed as cheeky and insincere.

The only time Bryant was ever involved in crypto was during the niTROn summit in 2019, when he spoke about entrepreneurship. But this was apparently enough reason for the TRON foundation to call Bryant a part of their family, despite him not endorsing TRX at all.

"Kobe Bryant, 41, the legendary basketball star who spent 20 years with the LA Lakers, passed away today. Kobe is a member of the TRON Family. As such, we will be dedicating @niTROnSummit's festivities to his legendary life & legacy. Please share your favorite Kobe memories here," the TRON Foundation tweeted Monday.

Justin Sun, the CEO of TRON, also recalled the stage he shared with Bryant a year ago in a tweet with a mention of his company's upcoming summit.

Is it a gimmick?

Ben Brown of CCN brought out instances of TRON's manipulative marketing practices. One time that Brown noted was a lunch with billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett that Sun paid $4.57 million for but canceled after getting the hype he needed from the media.

Sun also announced a partnership with Liverpool FC that the football club denied and a team-up with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, which turned about to be just dinner.

There was also a Tesla Model S and $20 million giveaway to anyone who follows Sun on Twitter and retweets the giveaway announcement. TRON was able to select a winner with its randomizing tool but had to redo the selection process because they couldn't upload the video due to a "glitch." The subsequent draw they performed ultimately ended up with a different participant winning the main prize.

Brown thinks that this time Sun has gone too far.

That was the same sentiment that other Twitter users expressed, such as social media user @VergeCanada who tweeted, "You are a sick individual @justinsuntron to try to #capitalize off of a death of a hero, his daughter, and the others on board. Come at me brother because 99% of the world has #heart, and you are the 1%. Grow up, and listen with your ears, and not your mouth."

kobe Kobe Bryant, an icon largely because of TV, is walking off during an uncertain time for local sports broadcasting. No. 24 of the Los Angeles Lakers stands during the national anthem prior to the first half of an NBA game against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 6, 2016, at the Staples Center. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images