Tezos has become the official blockchain partner of Formula One team Red Bull Racing Honda and will be used to launch the organization’s original non-fungible tokens (NFTs), according to a press release shared with Decrypt today.

"Tezos will help us maximize our engagement with our fans through the development of NFTs," said Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Honda team principal and CEO. "This is a hugely exciting space in which we’ve been looking for the right partner and in Tezos, we strongly believe we’ve picked a winner that will help us give our fans a new, unique, and innovative way to connect with the team." 

NFTs have generated quite the buzz of late; the cryptographically unique tokens can be linked to digital content such as images and video, and they've exploded into the popular consciousness thanks to headline-grabbing art sales; popular digital artist Beeple sold his “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” piece at auction house Christie’s for $69 million earlier this year.

A number of sports organizations have also tapped the technology to create new ways for fans to interact with teams and players, most notably the NBA, whose NBA Top Shot NFT series has proven to be a runaway success. Soccer fantasy game Sorare, which also uses NFTs, has driven similar record-breaking collectible sales, while the UFC has filed for crypto-related trademarks after heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou made over half a million dollars from an NFT collaboration.

The NFT sector isn’t without its detractors, however. Many artists and researchers have been vocal about the environmental impact of using blockchain technology when minting their art pieces. Ethereum, another energy-intensive blockchain, is currently the go-to network for minting NFTs. 

Horner explained that Tezos, an open-source blockchain-based on a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, was considered “a natural fit for Red Bull Racing Honda” thanks to its “energy-efficient design [that] matches our own long-term future environmental ambitions.”

Sports and crypto

Sports leagues are also getting involved with the wider world of crypto. Recently, three major Indian cricket teams joined fan token platform Socios.com. Before that, household names such as football clubs FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, AC Milan, and Manchester City have also joined.

In early May, the NFL team New York Giants similarly announced a crypto-related partnership with asset management behemoth Grayscale.

"The Tezos blockchain is designed to evolve and adapt, doing so with security and performance in mind and in the most efficient ways possible," said Tezos Foundation chairman Hubertus Thonhauser. "These principles are perfectly mirrored in the Red Bull Racing Honda team, and this is why we believe this to be a winning partnership."