Crypto.com, the company behind the eponymous cryptocurrency trading app, has become a global and inaugural partner of the Formula 1 “Sprint” series, according to an announcement published yesterday.
"For us as a brand, I think it's really important that we are a global partner," Kris Marszalek, Crypto.com co-founder and CEO, told the Decrypt Daily podcast. "There are only six other iconic brands that have the status with F1." He added that the deal gives Crypto.com "massive exposure as a brand, in a sport that I think is super aligned with the crypto audience."
In a press release accompanying the announcement, Marszalek revealed that under this partnership, Crypto.com and F1 will develop various exclusive non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with the aim of “connecting fans to the sport in new and innovative ways.”
While no financial details of the partnership were disclosed in the announcement, knowledgeable sources told CNBC that it is a five-year-long deal totaling over $100 million.
Per the agreement, Crypto.com’s brand will be displayed across various F1 events. "The first thing you're going to notice is that Crypto.com is visible on sidetrack signage and during the races," Marzlak told Decrypt Daily. "But this season, Formula 1 is also rolling out a completely new race format, the Sprint, and we're going to be the presenting partner of this new format. There are also a couple of other innovative things, like we will have a completely new award for the drivers after each race."
1/ We're extremely excited to announce that https://t.co/vCNztABJoG is the newest Global Partner of @F1🏎
We're also the first Official Cryptocurrency Sponsor, and #NFT Partner of #F1 pic.twitter.com/gyymBWpWmo
— Crypto.com (@cryptocom) June 29, 2021
Ben Pincus, director of commercial partnerships at Formula 1, said in a statement accompanying the release that the organization will "rely heavily" on Crypto.com's expertise. "This will be the first time as a sport we are able to offer fans the opportunity to explore this exciting world as we further increase our digital presence,” he added. He also highlighted the firm’s “commitment to becoming carbon negative.”
Apart from presenting a new award at the Belgian Grand Prix, Crypto.com has also become F1’s NFT partner, aiming “to democratize the world of cryptocurrency for fans, through education and experiences in the new partnership.”
Sports and crypto
This isn't Crypto.com's first foray into the world of sports. In the past, the company has also partnered with the F1 team Aston Martin and the Montreal Canadiens, a National Hockey League organization.
For its part, Formula 1 has previously entered into a deal with gaming firm Animoca Brands signed a licensing deal to develop the official blockchain game F1 Delta Time. The game grabbed headlines when one NFT representing a virtual race track sold for an eye-watering $223,000 last December.
Individual F1 teams have also formed their own deals with crypto companies, with McLaren Racing and Red Bull Racing Honda recently partnering with Tezos to launch their own collections of unique NFTs.
Crypto companies are also engaging more closely with the wider world of sports. In April, crypto exchange FTX entered a long-term partnership with the Miami Heat NBA franchise, while this month it signed a $210 million deal with professional esports team TSM and became an official cryptocurrency exchange brand of MLB.