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New financial technologies are quickly becoming one of the most involved sectors in sports sponsorships

The rapid evolution in the financial world is having an important impact on the sports sector, so much so as to create an entire line of business opportunities that were practically non-existent even just 2 years ago. Cryptocurrencies are now a reality and the need to enter the global panorama motivates large investments in visibility. The aspiration of the brands linked to this type of product is in fact to emerge from the "niche" of early adopters and various speculators to become an everyday tool.

The conspicuous movements of capital that are reaching teams, athletes and federations must therefore be evaluated from this perspective. This type of initiative has its epicenter on US soil but is rapidly opening up to international stages. The massive presence of Crypto.com in the final stages of the Formula 1 World Championship certainly did not go unnoticed following a 100 million dollar agreement with Liberty Media. In the motorsport sector, Formula 1 seems to be the main vector selected by cryptocurrency brands to obtain the desired awareness. The choice appears correct both by virtue of the media coverage, the possibility of exposure in dozens of countries on 5 continents and the average spending level of the other financiers. We're talking about an average of 87 million of TV viewers per race with an overall theoretical pool of over 1,5 billion of people.

The international economic situation, combined with regulations regarding sponsorships which severely limit the entry of those sectors historically linked to the world of motorsport, makes the championship an ideal venue for doing business between actors with common interests.

With a growth rate close to 100% per year, the number of individuals investing in cryptocurrencies could reach 400 million by the end of 2022. This share could likely increase, intercepting millions more potential interested parties among spectators of the NBA, the NFL, the various football championships and, indeed, Formula 1.

In the current season, 8 out of 10 teams can boast themed sponsorships. The value of the partnerships is variable but their increase compared to the 3 in 2021 suggests that the trend is growing exponentially. The inclusion of the Miami race in the calendar, a rapidly expanding cryptocurrency market, contributes significantly to the entry of other players into the championship.

NFTs and Fan Tokens their role in creating value

In addition to the search for visibility, one of the opportunities that most appeal to teams and financiers is that of being able to create blood NFTs and Fan Tokens. These will help increase the popularity, reputation and value of collaborations as well as reaching potential markets not yet involved in the sector.

The business model is essentially the one codified by Alexandre Dreyfus through Socios.com. The companies produce exclusive content via their partners' blockchains and take a percentage of their sale. In exchange, the fans form a more direct relationship with the team/athlete and are involved in decisions and initiatives.

NFTs fall within a collectible and speculative perspective, being digital products linked to exclusivity and non-repeatability. The examples and possibilities are essentially linked to the creativity and will of the teams: we can find photos, videos, sounds, renderings, data, illustrations and mixes of these formats. the price may vary based on the print run and type of drop.

For Fan Tokens we are instead talking about a "token" that allows access to a "superior" sphere in which discounts, entrances, concessions and other benefits can be obtained.

AM Cognizant Fan Token
The performance of the Aston Martin Cognizant Fan Token
The performance of the BWT Alpine F1 Fan Token

Once released and purchased, NFTs and Fan Tokens become objects of exchange and sale, entering a pure market perspective. The first release by Aston Martin Cognizant, for example, brought in almost $2 million.

The 2022 panorama in detail

Red Bull has signed a multi-year, $150 million deal with the cryptocurrency exchange platform bybit. This involves a series of initiatives aimed not only at creating know-how on the topic but which aim at direct involvement of fans. The partnership started last year with Tezos for the production of NFTs and Fan Tokens also continues.

Alpha tauri collaborate with Fantom, a blockchain platform designed for instant low-cost transactions, which involves presence on cars on targeted occasions (not surprisingly Monte Carlo and Abu Dhabi). The driver Pierre Gasly also holds the role of brand ambassador.

Mercedes renews and expands the presence of FTX, another trading platform for both traditional shares and cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Precisely the creation of the latter is one of the focal points of the collaboration

The rear wing of theAlfa Romeo features the logo of Floki, the company that created Floki Inu, a meme coin that works on the Ethereum and Binance platforms. The developers' idea is to expand its community (the Floki Vikings) through presence in the main sports fields. In this sense, the presence of the Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu within the team also represents an opportunity to increase awareness in China.

Binance it is the first cryptocurrency exchange platform in the world by volume and links its name to that of the team Alpine. The project involves the creation of a dedicated cryptocurrency, the Alpine F1 Team Fan Token, launched through the Binance Fan Token Launchpad. This will allow users who want to join the initiative to establish a closer relationship with the team and access exclusive opportunities.

Aston Martin has signed a multi-year agreement with the brand Crypto.com starting last season. The team used the launch of the 2022 car to release the first series of thematic NFTs and Fan Tokens.

The collaboration between the blockchain also continues tezos e McLaren, which will allow the English house to create and distribute its own NFTs. Advertising involvement can exploit the team's multiple channels: in addition to Formula 1, Indycar, Extreme E and the E-sports championship. For the latter the men from Woking have developed a special dedicated livery in which Tezos is the protagonist on the sides. McLaren was also the protagonist of the first collaboration with the aim of creating Fan Token last year together with the Turks of Bitci.com

Also Ferrari joined the "choir" and signed a partnership with the Swiss company Sails Network AG. The program includes the future development of dedicated NFTs through the proprietary blockchain and a synergy that on a visual level includes not only the logo on the car but the presence as Title sponsor of both the Esports team and the official Ferrari Esports Series single-brand store.

After the golden age of tobacco and beer, cryptocurrencies and NFTs seem to be the new certainty capable of guaranteeing sport, in particular motorsport, the capital to look to the future with more optimism. We are at the beginning of one of the entrepreneurial revolutions in this area and only a small part of the possible developments has currently been explored.

In the second part of the article we analyze the diffusion of digital assets in Nascar and Indycar, , here the link to further information

If you want to know more or are interested, visit the section sponsorships!

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