The cryptocurrency community has always emphasized decentralization and globalization. Therefore, it is not surprising that a number of crypto companies are sponsoring Formula 1 (F1) racing teams in an effort to get more contact with audiences around the world.
A study by global analytics firm Nielsen Sports has shown that Formula 1 could attract nearly one billion fans worldwide this year, with the largest share coming from the 16 to 35 age group. The attraction of F1 is clearly on the rise and crypto companies are jumping on board to establish themselves. To put this into perspective, there will be 10 Formula 1 teams in the 2022 season, with crypto companies currently sponsoring eight.
Crypt and F1: the perfect marketing combination
Mark DiMasimo, founder and creative director of DiGo, a New York-based marketing agency, told Cointelegraph that crypto companies’ interest in Formula 1 certainly makes sense from a marketing standpoint. “You could say that F1 is a natural extension of the sponsorship position for crypto companies because both sectors are international, exciting and demanding money,” he said.
According to DiMassimo, F1 racing team Red Bull Racing recently entered into a three-year partnership with Singapore-based crypto exchange Bybit worth $50 million a year. Prior to this, cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com announced a $100 million partnership with Formula One for the 201 Sprint Series.
Igneus Terrenus, head of communications at Bybit, told Cointelegraph that the cryptocurrency exchange sees sports sponsorship as an integral part of its global marketing strategy to boost brand awareness and sentiment in major markets. “We also partner with some of the best esports teams in the world, but Formula 1 remains the most popular international racing series,” said Terrenus. He added that Formula 1 has a larger and more global fan base than almost all other sports:
The 2021 Abu Dhabi Championship culminated in a very exciting final round decision in which Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen defeated Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes to a crowd of 108 million. While the 2022 Super Bowl between the Rams and the Bengals drew an audience of 101 million. »
Patrick Hellman, director of communications at Binance, told Cointelegraph that F1 is a sport that the crypto industry is attracted to given its global presence and fan base. “Binance recently announced a partnership with the BWT Alpine F1 team. There are very few sports worlds like F1,” he said.
Blockchain companies are also participating in Formula 1. In January 2022, the Fantom Foundation, the first team blockchain platform, announced its sponsorship of the Italian Formula 1 racing team Scuderia Alpha Tauri. Phantom CEO Michael Kong told Cointelegraph that this partnership is important for several reasons, with openness being a key benefit. “It brings a lot of attention to the Fantom as it has been watched by hundreds of millions of people around the world in connection with Formula One.” This is partly the reason for the growth in the number of Phantom Network users.”
F1 Sponsorship Expands as NFT Gains Momentum
But while crypto-currency companies may have been initially attracted to F1 sponsorships in terms of marketing, the advent of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) opens up new opportunities for F1 organizations. For example, a recent study by Deloitte Global predicted that in 2022 alone, NFTs for sports will bring in more than $2 billion in transactions — twice as much as in 2021.
In addition, the study predicts that by the end of this year, about five million sports fans worldwide will own an NFT tracksuit. With this in mind, most of the crypto and blockchain companies that sponsor Formula 1 racing teams have also launched NFTs to coincide with the sponsorship.
On March 22, 2022, Fantom announced the sponsorship of Brazilian-American Formula One drivers Pietro and Enzo Fittipaldi. The two drivers will be displaying Fantom images of their racing suits and helmets during the 2022 F1 season, Kong said. In addition to the sponsorship deal, the Fittipaldi brothers will launch the first NFT series on the Fantom network. “Pietro and Enzo both showed great interest in new technologies. NFTs will provide fans with unique access, allowing them to interact with famous athletes through a new medium,” Kong said.