Cryptocurency casino operator Stake.com announced it procured the naming rights for Swiss Formula One team Sauber.
Canadian rapper Drake in an ad for Stake.com. The cryptocurrency casino operator is sponsoring the Sauber F1 team for 2024 and 2025. (Image: Stake.com)
For the previous five seasons, the team flew the Alfa Romeo flag. Stake.com will be the team’s primary sponsor for 2024 and 2025, before a rebranding to Audi in 2026. Financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed, but it expands the gaming company’s growing F1 footprint. Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu remain as the Sauber drivers. Stake held a sponsorship role with the Alfa Romeo team last year.
Last season represented the start of Stake’s journey in Formula 1, and the brand’s new role headlining Stake F1 Team represents the natural and exciting next step on this path,” said team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi in a statement.
Currently, Stake.com is what’s known as a gray-market operator. That label implies that while it’s not officially licensed and regulated on par with a white-market equivalent, it is safer for consumers than a black-market counterpart.
Stake.com No Stranger to Limelight
While cryptocurrency casinos aren’t regulated in the U.S., and thus don’t derive much benefit from this market, the concept is embraced by bettors in other regions.
As a result, Stake.com and some rivals have sought to market themselves through traditional avenues. For example, Stake.com has a jersey sponsorship deal with English Premier League (EPL) squad Everton FC, as well as other established marketing plans.
“Drake is one of Stake’s celebrity, sport, and lifestyle partners, which also include English Premier League football club Everton and the UFC, and is likely to make appearances at Grands Prix as part of the partnership,” according to the statement.
Australia-based Stake.com is also a major sponsor of the African Warriors Fighting Championship (AWFC), that continent’s equivalent of UFC.
F1 Increasingly Intersecting with Gaming
Confirming that F1 is increasingly comfortable at the intersection of racing and wagering, news of the Stake.com/Sauber agreement arrived less than two months after the Las Vegas Grand Prix. That was the series’ first stop in Sin City in four decades, and by most accounts, the event was wildly successful as it underpinned one of the best weekends on record in terms of gaming revenue in the U.S. casino center.
The series has also become an epicenter of activity for blockchain and cryptocurrency companies seeking sponsorship opportunities. Binance, ByBit, OKX, OpenSea, and Tezos, to name a few, are among the related entities that have recently sought F1 exposure.
As for Stake.com, the gaming company and Sauber are planning a new look car for the upcoming F1 season. But a date hasn’t been set for when the vehicle will be revealed to the public.