Formula 1 team Oracle Red Bull Racing has signed a record-breaking sponsorship deal with cryptocurrency exchange Bybit.
In an announcement, the team revealed that the three-year sponsorship deal, reportedly worth $150 million, "represents the single largest per-annum cryptocurrency venture yet seen in international sport."
The sponsorship deal will see Bybit take on the mantle of Principal Team Partner for the racing team, as well as becoming its exclusive Cryptocurrency Exchange Partner and as the Team’s Tech Incubator Partner.
🗣 "I’m delighted to welcome Bybit to the Team. They share the Team’s passion to exist at the forefront of technological innovation” Christian on @Bybit_Official #RaceToTheNextLevel
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) February 16, 2022
Bybit will join Red Bull Racing in promoting initiatives including "crypto-literacy" and "the growth of green technologies."
The exchange will also become the racing team's Fan Token Issuance Partner, supporting Red Bull Racing in distributing its "growing digital asset collections," with Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal and CEO Christian Horner said in a statement accompanying the release that Bybit is committed to "enlivening the fan experience in F1 through digital innovation."
Sport and crypto
This isn't Red Bull Racing's first foray into crypto; in 2021 the team announced a partnership with Tezos to produce original non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Crypto sport sponsorship deals have ramped up in recent months; just last week, crypto exchange Crypto.com snapped up the naming rights to the latest date on the F1 calendar, the Miami Grand Prix.
Crypto.com has also sponsored the 2021 Coppa Italia, as well as paying a reported $700 million for the naming rights to the Los Angeles Staples Center, home to the NBA's Lakers and Clippers as well as the WNBA's Sparks and NHL's Kings. Rival exchange Binance, menawhile, recently announced its sponsorship of the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament.
But dwarfing them all is crypto derivatives exchange FTX, which has inked sponsorship deals with the Miami Heat, Major League Baseball, the Golden State Warriors, and the Washington Wizards and Capitals.
FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried told Decrypt's GM podcast that, anecdotally at least, its sports marketing push is paying dividends. "Everyone we talk to who knows us a little bit, or a lot, or barely, or intimately, this is top of mind for them," he said.