Crypto exchange Kraken is crowdsourcing which NFTs will adorn an F1 car
Six total NFTs will be incorporated on the Williams’ car in the race
If you look closely, you might catch a Bored Ape crossing the finish line during a Formula 1 race this fall.
In an ongoing partnership with British Formula One team Williams Racing, crypto exchange Kraken will place non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the back of the team’s cars competing in the U.S. Grand Prix this October.
But which NFTs to choose? Kraken will be crowdsourcing its race car decals by allowing users to submit their NFTs and vote on their favorite characters.
Starting August 1, any NFT holder whose asset is listed on Kraken’s native NFT marketplace will be eligible to submit their token before the contest closes on August 18. Williams and Kraken will then select the top 20 entries, putting them up for a community vote from August 28 to 31.
The four most popular NFTs, as well as two NFTs selected by Williams team drivers Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant, will be displayed on the car during the Austin-based Grand Prix on October 22.
Lou Frangella, Head of Brand Partnerships at Kraken and former VP of Partnerships at FTX.US, subsidiary of fallen exchange FTX, told CoinDesk that incorporating NFTs onto the back of Williams’ cars will bring attention not only to individual projects but also to the NFT market as a whole.
“NFTs are an essential part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, and I think they represent many different things – they are ownership for some people, and there are very engaged communities in a lot of cases,” said Frangella. “Whenever we have the opportunity to lift up the crypto community, we want to use our platform to be able to do that.”
In March, Kraken announced its Williams sponsorship deal aimed at bringing crypto educational experiences to F1 fans across the globe. Frangella told CoinDesk that since the spring, Kraken has displayed the bitcoin white paper on the nose of Williams cars, celebrated Bitcoin Pizza Day with the team by sending pies to its 800 employees and hosted fan meet-ups at various racing events.
“We’re just continuing to use our partnership as a way to properly educate and be a resource for people – not just F1 fans, but anyone that the sport crosses paths with, whether you’re a Williams fan or not, to propel our mission,” said Frangella.
It didn’t take long for crypto sponsorships to find their place within the luxury sport of F1. In February 2022, Red Bull’s racing team signed a $150 million partnership with crypto exchange Bybit. Most recently, Sui blockchain also signed a multiyear deal with Red Bull, with a goal of bringing Web3 experiences to its fans.
While NFTs have yet to be seen on the race cars themselves, they’ve previously been present at racing events. In May, F1 ticket provider Platinum Group issued NFT tickets for the Monaco Grand Prix, offering buyers access to the race as well as future ticket discounts.
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