• Market rout has prompted regulators to tighten rules
  • McLaren to debut special crypto-themed car for Singapore race

At the Miami Grand Prix in May, the displays of companies sponsoring the sport were inescapable, with blue branding covering every surface along the track.

Digital assets will be less visible when Singapore hosts the most popular motor sport. Teams will only be allowed to show their logos on their cars and uniforms at the Singapore Grand Prix, but no advertising will be allowed around the track or in the local area.

From a regulatory and financial perspective, the shift underscores the changing mood. Digital asset prices soured, billion-dollar projects collapsed and major market players went bankrupt, leading to increased scrutiny in Singapore, the UK and France. Advertisers are finding ways to make their mark without going too far.

The recent plunge in the value of cryptocurrencies has left brands with less money to spend, but still want to stay on top of the game.

Jeremy Walls, a senior executive for the Miami venue who helped close the deal with Crypto.com, said that current market dynamics may make them be a little more careful about the deals they sign.

The pace of the partnerships is not as fast as it used to be.

Partnering with an F1 team has turned into a status symbol for crypto companies, a flashy multi-million dollar accessory that signals affluence and success at a time when market prices are not reflecting the opposite. More than 80% of F1 teams have at least one partner in the form of a digital asset.

relates to Crypto’s Hold on Formula 1 Sponsoring Gets Tested in Singapore
McLaren’s OKX sponsored Formula One racecar.

When a new sponsor or trend emerges, F1 teams don't want to get left behind, according to Zak Brown. McLaren signed a five-year deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars with OKX in May, and will debut a special car for the circuits in Singapore and Japan in compliance with stricter advertising guidelines.

New Tobacco

The chief marketing officer at the F1 team said the need to change sponsor branding is part of the sport. Philip Morris International Inc. used to show the shape or colored branding of their cigarettes without actually displaying a logo in certain places.

F1 teams have their own logos on their uniforms and cars. The fan token can be earned, traded and used to pay for experiences or rewards.

Crypto brands are taking the wheel in F1 racing.

NFTs have become increasingly popular in sports marketing, boosting global fan engagement by teaming up with artists like @Mad_Dog_Jones pic.twitter.com/IdH0kprryG

— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) July 7, 2022

The sport has a global and loyal audience. There will be 24 races in 21 countries over the course of nine months next year. The sport's high cost of entry, where tickets start at hundreds of dollars and TV channels pay high fees for exclusive broadcasting rights, makes fans more wealthy.

The pace of dealmaking in sports is not certain, with waning demand for digital assets taking its toll Several major companies lay off staff earlier this year, while the likes of FTX value their F1 partnerships on an annual basis, according to the exchange's Vice President for business development.

FTX has seen an increase in new customers since signing with Mercedes, as well as more interest from existing clients who want to take advantage of F1 races.

Singapore Prepares For First F1 Grand Prix Since Covid-19 Pandemic
The Singapore race track ahead of the 2022 F1 Grand Prix.

F1 has a history of being volatile. Daniel Ricciardo is expected to leave his team at the end of the season, his third switch in five years, and is currently signed as a brand ambassador for OKX. Brown said that next year's marketing imagery may have to shift to feature a new driver or focus more on the car itself.

The first fan token for an F1 team was run on Bitci.com. After less than a year, the deal was quietly wound up in February, along with two other Bitci.com deals with European football clubs.

Brown said that they jumped into that one. You need to do your homework. He said that the partnership with OKX was scrutinized by a 15- person external advisory board.

Due diligence has become more important this year as a result of a number of majorcryptocurrencies collapsing. Lindsey Eckhouse, the team's director of licensing, e- commerce, e-sports and gaming, said that McLaren is exploring a new fan token with OKX, which it hopes to launch in 2023.

relates to Crypto’s Hold on Formula 1 Sponsoring Gets Tested in Singapore
Formula One fans wear crypto-branded merchandise at the Silverstone Grand Prix.

Steven Kalifowitz said that the F1 deals were one of the first that the exchange made.

Kalifowitz wanted to meet a global audience quickly. F1 does a great job of delivering on that.

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The future of F1's multi-year deals hangs in the balance with the general economic environment signaling a potential turn for the worse. If a sponsor can't meet the millions of dollars required to stay in the race, partners will leave.

He said that the market will balance itself next season and that at least two brands could scrap their deals. The cars will be presented to the world in February of next year.

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