What cryptographic flaw? Bitcoin prices may be falling, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the cars on the super popular Formula One racing circuit. F1 is crazy about crypto.
Eight of the 10 teams competing in the high-profile international series have a cryptocurrency-related sponsor. F1 has grown dramatically in recent years thanks in part to Netflix’s popular reality show “Drive to Survive” (NFLX).
Crypto.com, one of the major exchanges, has a multi-year nomination contract for the F1 race in Miami, which was held earlier this month. Crypto.com is also a partner in the Aston Martin F1 team.
The two best F1 teams so far this season, Red Bull and Ferrari (RACE), have both announced new cryptographic sponsorship deals in recent months. Ferrari (RACE) is working with blockchain company Velas while Red Bull has a deal with Bybit cryptocurrency exchange.
Other leading F1 teams are also taking the cryptographic step. McLaren has a long-term agreement with OKX that makes cryptocurrency the team’s main sponsoring partner.
“We’re not just putting our logo on McLaren cars. We’re helping Mclaren with NFT and the metaverse,” Haider Rafique, OKX’s global director of marketing, said in an interview with CNN Business.
OKX is the only cryptographic company that serves as the main sponsor of an F1 team. This means that his logo appears most prominently on the cars and racing suits of McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo.
“Crypto is a massive industry. It’s clear it’s here to stay and it’s a big part of the economic future,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown. “Fans of cryptocurrencies are experienced, technology-focused consumers.”
Brown said the partnership between McLaren and OKX fits well because many of the younger F1 fans who took up the sport after watching “Drive to Survive” are also in cryptography.
Netflix’s coup for F1 has clearly caught the attention of other crypto companies.
“There has been an exponential increase in interest in the sport. I’m a Netflix F1 adoptee, so it was a simple decision for us to get involved with a team,” said Lou Frangella, vice president of US FTX Associations. FTX, a major cryptocurrency brokerage that is currently valued at $ 32 billion, struck a deal with Mercedes last year.
Frangella said FTX, which also has a stadium sponsorship deal with the NBA’s Miami Heat, is looking to make a name for itself among younger consumers.
As a link to the Miami F1 race, FTX has auctioned off NFT of artwork featured in the cars of drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. FTX has also created limited edition NFT tickets for the career designed by NFT artist Mad Dog Jones. Jones previously designed a helmet for Hamilton, a seven-time F1 champion.
“We’re trying to make partnerships fun and engaging,” Frangella said.
Still, the hijacking of cryptographic sponsorships could end badly, as did the many now-defunct dot-coms that aggressively spent on Super Bowl ads and stadium naming rights agreements in the late 1990s and early 1990s. 2000.
OKX Rafique said the recent volatility of cryptocurrencies is to be expected given how new the asset class is compared to stocks, bonds and commodities. He also pointed out that it is not as if the actions are a safe haven this year.
“Stocks are also being hit hard. We are taking a long-term view,” he said, noting that McLaren has not expressed any concern about crypto price drops since announcing its partnership.
McLaren’s Brown added that he is “quite fascinated and excited about cryptocurrencies” and that he has personally invested in a diversified portfolio of cryptocurrencies. Drivers Norris and Ricciardo are also proponents of cryptography, Brown said.
The environmental impact of cryptographic mining, which is extremely energy intensive, remains a concern. Some drivers have already begun to openly question the impact it is having on the planet of flying around the world to drive race cars that consume gasoline. Sebastian Vettel of Aston Martin, a four-time F1 champion, recently spoke about his reservations over concerns about climate change.
FTX’s Frangella acknowledged that there are legitimate questions about cryptographic mining and the sport of racing and the environment. F1 has previously said it expects to be a carbon-neutral sport by 2030.
“Sustainability is important to us and we all look for improvements,” Frangella said. “From a cryptographic perspective, we are very aware of that and we have these conversations with the Mercedes team. We hope that people will be happy with the improvements in the coming years.”