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Back on Track: Kraken Inks F1 Crypto Sponsorship Deal With Williams Racing

Despite a crypto sponsorship exodus in the aftermath of last year’s high-profile meltdowns, Formula 1 teams may be warming to crypto advertising again. On March 28, American crypto exchange Kraken announced a new sponsorship and Web3 deal with the Williams Racing F1 team. This is the first major cryptocurrency company to sign a new deal in Formula 1 racing this year.

The agreement includes not only Kraken branding on the Williams race cars, but also branded team merchandise and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) for team fans to collect. At select races, the car’s rear wing will also display KrakenNFT customer-owned digital collectibles artwork from leading third-party NFT projects.

“We’re excited to get the partnership underway to offer our fans cutting-edge crypto and Web3 experiences, while also enabling Kraken to reach new institutional clients and businesses through our network and events,” said Williams Racing commercial director James Bower.

When things started to melt in late 2022, several Formula 1 racing teams quickly dropped their cryptocurrency sponsorship deals. The Mercedes F1 team suspended a partnership agreement worth an estimated $27 million with the troubled FTX exchange in mid-November.

In addition, in January, Ferrari abruptly terminated a long-term agreement with the Swiss blockchain organization Velas. Following issues at the crypto lender last year, Alfa Romeo dropped its sponsor, Vauld. Singapore banned crypto advertising around the track in September, but allowed it to remain on the cars. Other countries, including France, imposed restrictions on trackside cryptocurrency advertisements last year, forcing some teams to remove them.

However, some sponsorship agreements have survived. The Aston Martin team has kept Crypto.com and Socios as sponsors. According to earlier reports, Binance is still the Alpine team’s partner, and OKX and Tezos are still with McLaren Racing. Meanwhile, Red Bull Racing has kept its cryptocurrency sponsor Bybit, and OpenSea is still with Haas.

 

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