Formula 1 Teams Removed Crypto Brands Due to Unclear Policies
- Crypto brands have become one of the biggest sponsors of sporting teams since 2021.
Crypto banners are fast becoming a part of sporting events since most clubs and teams have crypto-related sponsors. However, spectators at the French Grand Prix on Sunday observed the absence of crypto brands such as Crypto.com, which has been a longtime partner of the sport.
According to close sources, the absence of crypto-related logos at racing events was due to unclear French policies on cryptocurrencies. The Alpine Formula 1 team also took off the Binance branding from its vehicles, drivers’ uniforms, and letterhead.
An official from the Italian F1 team AlphaTauri, which previously collaborated with blockchain platform Fantom, said that the decision was made to avoid any advertising on French soil due to the general rules on crypto. Car manufacturer, Alfa Romeo, also removed branding associated with crypto lender Vauld and meme currency Floki Inu. According to the luxury car maker, this was done to avoid any potential legal consequences. It said,
The team is complying with all French regulations with regard to crypto partner advertising on the car. We have been advised that, in order to display a cryptocurrency partner logo in France, the cryptocurrency brand must be registered at the AMF, which is not the case of two of our cryptocurrency partners.
Crypto policies currently remain vague in France as the country continues to explore the overall risks of cryptocurrencies. Crypto-related ads during sporting events have been criticized for not informing the crowd about the pros and cons of crypto investments.
Many international regulators have carefully examined advertisements for crypto products and services as the industry gains a stronger foothold in sports. The financial watchdog in Spain was among the agencies in Europe that moved to offer clarity on crypto ads.
The regulatory body noted that it would mandate commercials to be transparent, balanced, and fair while outlining the dangers associated with cryptocurrency investments. Additionally, certain advertisements from businesses including Coinbase, Kraken, and Crypto.com were disallowed by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority for allegedly failing to convey the investment risk of their services.
Crypto projects have increased their presence in the sporting world by offering sponsorship to teams in baseball, Formula 1, UFC, soccer, and eSports. The huge investments in sports deals are primarily intended to increase credibility and fan engagement. According to sports analytics company Nielsen Sports, cryptocurrency partnerships with sports clubs and leagues increased by over 100% in 2021 and are projected to reach $5 billion by 2026.
Despite the popularity of the crypto industry, regulators around the world have refused to give their full support until they are able to ascertain the full risks and benefits of supporting cryptocurrencies.