The Red Bull F1 Team and crypto exchange Bybit are joining forces in a multi-year deal that would see Bybit become the F1 team’s exclusive crypto exchange business.
There is no word yet on the deal’s value, but one source familiar with the matter said that the deal was worth $150M over three years. Bybit will consequently become “principal team partner,” a tier lower than “title partner,” a designation held by Oracle. The deal with Oracle was worth $300M over five years.
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This announcement sees a significant chunk of revenue from an exchange going to advertisements. The Oracle partnership and the Bybit partnership add up to $110M a year. Formula One’s budget per team is capped at $140M for 2022 and $135M for 2023. Red Bull’s partnership with Bybit is also looking to improve fan engagement by issuing fan tokens, which has been controversial in the past. Crypto.com is next season’s title sponsor for Formula One.
Crypto companies on the PR warpath
The recent Superbowl crypto ad blitz saw 30-second spots selling for $7M. The heavy hitters were all there. FTX, Crupto.com and Coinbase were all there. Coinbase’s advertisement involved a QR code that bounced off the sides of the screen. The response to the minimalistic ad crashed Coinbase’s site.
Jason Damata, founder and CEO of Fabric Media, a marketing company, opines, “Showing up in the most premium real estate in all of television allows them to rent the legitimacy of that space and say, ‘We’re here, and we’re part of this American tradition.’” He went on further to say, “I’m sure these crypto companies will see a huge rise in downloads and sign-ups so they can quantify a return on their investment.” NBA star LeBron James was pictured sitting in his childhood bedroom, saying, “If you want to make history, you got to call your own shots,” in an advertisement for Crypto.com. FTX ran an ad involving Larry Davis of Curb Your Enthusiasm, who compared doubts about FTX to groundless skepticism about the moon landing and the American Declaration of Independence. An advertisement by eToro included a picture of a Shiba Inu dog.
Risks not mentioned, says Brown
Bybit is the latest cryptocurrency exchange to splurge on advertising. In Sep. 2021, FTX partnered with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team to display the FTX logo on drivers and vehicles. The French Alpine Formula One team is partnering with Binance. Recently, to take advantage of the club’s commercial appeal, Tezos became the front-of-shirt training kit sponsor for English football giant Manchester United.
The head of the United States Congress banking committee, Sherrod Brown, took crypto companies to task in a hearing on Feb. 15, 2022, two days after the Superbowl ad blitz. He said that the advertisements did not adequately address the risks involved with investing in crypto.
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