In the first 2 articles in this series, we saw how Crypto- and NFT-themed sponsorships have become an established reality within the major world and U.S. 4-wheel championships within a short period of time. Let us now try to understand how these types of collaborations are developing in the motorcycle arena.
Here is the link to the article on Formula 1 and here is the one on Nascar and Indycar
By its nature MotoGP and WSBK enjoy a smaller catchment area than Formula 1, and consequently advertising investments are also not comparable. Although there are overlaps (energy drinks, lubricants, technology) the product areas involved tend to appear different. The financial sector, which has been a permanent part of the automotive "basket" for decades now, appears less present in 2-wheelers.
It follows that contemporary economic dynamics and the "dematerialization" of money also find less footholds for triggering partnerships. This does not mean, however, that these championships cannot be an excellent showcase and incubation space for fruitful partnerships. It is no coincidence that MotoGP is the first motorsport series to release its own club tokens last year. This is by virtue of the three-year agreement reached with Turkish brand Bitci valid from 2021 to 2023.
This partnership includes the visual presence of the brand on billboards in the circuit perimeter in addition to the titling of some races. The first spread of MotoGP Fan Tokens took place between August 13 and 31, 2021, starting with the Austrian Grand Prix named after Bitci himself. The offer included 25 million tokens at €0.30 each, which could be purchased exclusively using the Bitcicoin currency.
Among the entities that directly support Dorna we find Animoca Brands, now a long-standing partner considering the standards of this very recent strand. As of 2019, in fact, it holds the rights to develop NFTs associated with MotoGP. Together they bring forward Motogp Ignition, a management and digital collectibles game platform based on MotoGP: basically, participants can buy limited content with different rarity values and use them in a fantasy card game. Underlying everything is always a blockchain to ensure the value and non-replicability of products. During the current and next season moreover Animoca is a sponsor of 2+2 races, in this case Aragon and Philip Island.
Tied to this operation is the title sponsorship of 2 other races, the just-completed edition of the Misano Grand Prix and next year's. In this case, however, the brand involved is Gryfyn: this is a collaboration between Animoca Brands itself and Hex Trust aimed at defining portfolios for digital assets-in this case NFT-and for financial services. This platform is also devoted to expansion into the Metaverse and within the Web3 so as to exponentially expand the possibilities of fruition, connection and interaction between users.
Staying in event sponsorships, the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix enjoyed a partnership with CryptoDATA Tech, a Romanian company that offers advanced digital security products and services through blockchain and cryptography-based technologies. In particular, the result of this research is the Xiden blockchain, which leverages a decentralized mining system through networking among all users. This approach allows for a more equitable and sustainable allocation of resource consumption and has led to the creation of an artificial intelligence ecosystem called Edain through which analytics software can be developed. The presence on the MotoGP stage also extended to direct sponsorship of one of the most prominent talents on the grid, Spaniard Jorge Martin.
Other companies have preferred to tie themselves directly to racing teams or drivers. Among the first certainly Fantom, which entered into a partnership first with Team Petronas SRT in 2021 and then became a sponsor of World Champion Fabio Quartararo in the current season. Currently, the logo can be easily spotted on the visor of the reigning World Champion.
Along the same lines we can find Kyrrex, officially linked this year to the Pramac team and its two riders. The logos are well visible on either side of the large central aspirational mouth of Martin and Zarco's Desmosedici Gp. The Caribbean-based company is articulated as a bank where it deposits and exchanges cryptocurrencies in addition to being able to make financial transactions and payments. It also has its own token, the KRRX, which provides access to more advanced features and restricted terms. In addition to the second Ducati Kyrrex team supports KTM in rally raids such as the Paris-Dakar and is a personal sponsor of Pedro Acosta in his Moto2 adventure.
GPNFTS powered by Velas presents a completely new concept in the field of sports collecting and specifically in motorsports. Through the release of digital assets it in effect allows these disciplines access to the metaverse. GPNFTS is a marketplace for NFT dedicated to the world of motorsports recently launched and created by MLSE Digital Labs, the digital and innovation department of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. The partnership between Velas, creator of one of the fastest and most energy-efficient blockchain platforms, and GPNFTS-the first vertical NFT marketplace on motorsports-has been active since November 2021.GPNFTS works in synergy with the MotoGP Yamaha RNF team to create NFT and collectible products that are released on a regular basis and can be purchased by fans. Their racing presence extends to Team Alpine in F1, Team Juncos Hollinger in Indycar, and Team Prema in both Formula 2 and the WEC.