During this year’s U.S. Grand Prix, which takes place on October 22 in Austin, TX, you will probably catch an NFT such as a Bored Ape or another popular NFT, racing around the Formula One (F1) track.
As part of the ongoing partnership between Williams Racing and crypto exchange Kraken, the British F1 team has called upon NFT holders with assets listed on Kraken’s native NFT marketplace to submit their tokens for consideration.
Which NFT will we see racing?
But which NFTs will earn the honor of being showcased on the race track?
Kraken has decided to democratize the selection process. Starting August 1, The submission window will remain open until August 18. Following this, Williams Racing and Kraken will shortlist the top 20 entries, which will then be subjected to a community vote from August 28 to 31.
The community’s top four NFT choices, along with two NFTs handpicked by Williams team drivers Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant, will grace the team’s cars during the Grand Prix.
Lou Frangella, Kraken’s Head of Brand Partnerships and former VP of Partnerships at FTX.US, expressed his enthusiasm for seeing NFTs on the team cars in a recent interview with CoinDesk, noting that NFTs mean something different to each person who owns a digital collectible.
“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.”
Kraken’s partnership with Williams Racing, which kicked off earlier this year, marked the first partnership of its kind for the crypto exchange that opened up an avenue for F1 fans and crypto holders to come together in one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.
Since the March announcement, Kraken has already helped produce content and experiences to educate and engage F1 fans about the value and mission of crypto and the push towards Web3, including facilitating fan meet-ups at multiple racing events. It has also displayed the original Bitcoin whitepaper on Williams cars as well as celebrating Bitcoin Pizza Day by distributing pizzas to the entire Williams Racing team and workforce.
“Kraken’s partnership with Williams Racing shows what is possible when you combine a great mission with excellence, innovation and breakthrough performance,” said Kraken’s CMO Mayur Gupta in the initial partnership announcement.
Frangella also elaborated on some of the partnership’s objectives, stating that the collaboration “aims to educate and serve as a resource, not just for F1 enthusiasts, but for anyone the sport interacts with – whether you’re a Williams fan or not. Our mission is to propel understanding and adoption.”
Other F1 x crypto partnerships
While Williams Racing’s involvement with Kraken has appeared to be promising thus far, making this new NFT application a first for F1, it isn’t the only F1 team to recognize the significance of these types of next-gen crypto partnerships.
In 2022, Red Bull Racing announced its partnership with crypto exchange Bybit, valued at a staggering $150 million, in addition to its recent multi-year agreement with the Sui blockchain that will focus on pushing out similar Web3-infused experiences to its fanbase.
Turning to the Monaco Grand Prix, which just took place in May, F1 ticket provider Platinum Group also rolled out NFT tickets ahead of the race, offering attendees not only access to the race, but future ticket discounts.