San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has reached a deal with Williams Racing to become the British Formula 1 (F1) team’s first official crypto and Web3 partner. It also marks the first global partnership for Kraken.
Kraken’s branding will appear on the rear wing of the Williams cars, driver’s suits, and caps for the remainder of this year’s F1 World Championship Season, starting with this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix. The 2023 F1 season began earlier this month and continues through November with races across the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Some users of Kraken's NFT marketplace will also be picked to have their owned NFT artwork appear on the rear of Williams’ race cars during select Grand Prix events. The feature artwork will be from leading third-party NFT projects, with the Kraken website pointing to the Bored Ape Yacht Club and World of Women among collections listed on its own marketplace.
Welcome to the team, @krakenfx! 🤝#WeAreWilliams
— Williams Racing (@WilliamsRacing) March 28, 2023
Formula 1 has been a hotbed for crypto sponsorships, but some deals have fallen apart in the aftermath of last year’s collapse of FTX, which had a sponsorship agreement with F1’s Mercedes-AMG Petronas that was suspended when the exchange shut down.
In recent months, Ferrari terminated its deal with blockchain company Velas, while blockchain network Tezos prematurely ended its deal with Red Bull Racing. Animoca Brands also formerly operated F1 Delta Time, a licensed Ethereum NFT game that shut down in March 2022.
Despite some failed sponsorships, Kraken joins a plethora of crypto brands to maintain active deals with F1 teams, including McLaren’s partnerships with Tezos and OKX, Alpine’s deal with Binance, Haas’s deal with OpenSea, and Red Bull Racing’s reported $150M deal with Bybit that was signed in Feb. 2022. Crypto.com also holds naming rights to F1’s Miami Grand Prix.
“We’re excited to get the partnership underway to offer our fans cutting-edge crypto and Web3 experiences, while also enabling Kraken to reach new institutional clients and businesses through our network and events,” Williams Racing Commercial Director James Bower said in a statement.
Williams and Kraken will also design limited-edition caps for select races and collaborate on content to educate fans about Web3. Additionally, Kraken will partake in pop-up experiences and F1 Fan Zone initiatives hosted by Williams Racing throughout the season.