Online crypto-casino group, Stake.com may pony up as much as US$100 million to be the lead sponsor of Formula 1 team, Alfa Romeo as the team prepares to compete in November’s Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023.
Alfa Romero’s contract with Sauber is expected to end before 2024 but Stake will retain naming rights after the departure, according to unnamed sources familiar with the deal as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Now promoted as “Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake” the new consortium has already launched a major partnership with @KickStreaming, “an innovative and community-driven live streaming platform built for and targeting a global audience.”
Multi-year Partnership Expected
No official details on the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake sponsorship were available after hours on Friday, but some sources are saying that it could be a 3-year deal. That would track with the expected value of the sponsorship at A$140 and the team’s transition from the Italian brand to a full Audi complement in 2026.
The same week showed followers that new leadership strategies were reinvigorating the Zurich-based team’s future in a potential quest for the World Championship. Veteran sporting director Beat Zehnder, and technical director Jan Monchaux will be on somewhat equal footing, or at least working side by side with Alessandro Alunni Bravi in a redefined Team Principal role as “team representative”.
Former Alfa Romeo CEO and team principal Frederic Vasseur signed on with Ferrari when he left in December.
McLaren’s Andreas Seidl has taken the helm to transition Sauber Group to Alfa Romeo, accepting the role of CEO but opting to split responsibilities with Bravi who will perform much of the front-facing functions of Team Principal.
Team Alfa Romeo prevailing throughout the 23-race season, which begins in Bahrain in early March and closes in Abu Dhabi in late November immediately after the Las Vegas Grand Prix might depend on unexpected talent, tech, or machinery from McLaren or another element repositioning itself for what many see as the beginning of the first wave of F1 as a discipline in US lifestyle and entertainment.
One thing is certain, a record $140m sponsorship deal will not guarantee success – but it could light the fire under a complete rethinking of the way F1 business is done.
Australian Gambling Company, Stake is “one-of-a-kind”
Alfa Romeo’s new sponsor, Stake.com is a high-dollar gambling concern with a history of playing by the rules in ways nobody ever thought of or tried before.
Spawned from an “American” Bitcoin gambling site, Primedice, two of the three founders of that company created Stake.com. They did it in Australia where the amended gambling laws left an opening.
- Citizens are allowed to gamble offshore with no interference from the government
- Online casinos are allowed to offer denizens pokies and other casino games if they are licensed in a state or territory – but no online casino licenses have ever been issued under current law which has been in effect since 2017
- Gambling companies located in Australia can do business with players elsewhere, but not with residents
The third option was the obvious choice for a disruptor company with enough mettle to enrich its two founders with over a billion dollars each.
F1 is a multi-billion dollar industry, without even considering the “sports betting” handle or hold.
An industry-commissioned economic impact statement recently showed that the first year of F1’s return to Las Vegas would produce over a billion dollars of churn in the economy. The same company, Applied Analysis estimated the Super Bowl coming in early 2014 would only bring about half of that amount.
The Super Bowl has never been held in Nevada and it could be a generation or longer before it returns – if ever. F1 has made Las Vegas its “flagship” with a half-billion-dollar investment for year one – half of that was spent on about 40 acres of land adjacent to The Strip that will become its base for the 3.8-mile race with speeds up to 280 miles per hour on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Stake.com is primarily a sports betting site with an online casino. Some estimates put the crypto-casino’s worth at over $2 Billion, perhaps making it the most successful crypto-currency gambling site on the internet.
One of the Stake founders is Bijan Tehrani. According to the SMH, Tehrani said Stake.com was thrilled to join the F1.
“Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake will expand our opportunities for fan engagement through brand integration and activation.”
“We are fully committed to enhancing race weekends by creating unique experiences for all Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake fans, growing audience engagement in the digital arena.”
His Melbourne partner, Ed Craven has participated in several other signing ceremonies and simple inked deals. Global sports teams have taken the name, giving the Stake brand untold exposure in its chosen markets. Stake.com is currently the jersey sponsor for the English Premier League soccer team Everton FC. The company inked the deal after Watford FC was kicked down a notch in the leagues but well after brand exposure.
Other high-profile emissaries include pop star Drake as a brand ambassador who emceed a $1 million Bitcoin giveaway on live stream in May of last year. Additional sponsorships include multiple UFC and MMA fighters.
Stake.com is no stranger to controversy and F1 has never been under the microscope before, at least in the public sphere.
“Formula One has seen a huge increase in interest over the last few years and the arrival of brands such as Stake are representative of the massive exposure our sport can offer,” Managing Director of The Sauber Group and Team Alfa, Bravi said.
Sauber Holding AG Chairman, Finn Rausing, said upon the appointment of McLaren’s Seidl to CEO: “It is an immense pleasure to welcome Andreas Seidl back to Hinwil as CEO of the Sauber Group. Andreas’s experience is second to none and he brings to Sauber Group a clear understanding of what is required to achieve sustained success. He takes over a company on an upward path and he shares our commitment to keeping our organization growing: I look forward to many years of success together.”
Fans will see the graphic results of the partnership when the team unveils its latest F1 car in Zurich on February 7.
Source: Australian cryptocurrency casino inks record Formula 1 sponsorship deal, Sydney Morning Herald, January 27, 2023