Lando Norris fondly remembers his last race in Singapore: the vibrancy of the city, twinkling under the night lights and a seventh place finish. When Formula 1 returns to the Asian city-state for another evening start time, at the circuit’s first Grand Prix since 2019, Norris will sit in his car in a newly redesigned livery, his signature McLaren Fluro Papaya orange now complete by neon pink highlights and other design elements.
This is Future Mode, a campaign run by crypto exchange OKX and promoted in partnership with McLaren for the Singapore and Japanese Grands Prix in October. Norris and teammate Daniel Ricciardo will drive their MCL36 F1 cars with the paint scheme and OKX painted on the sides and front and rear fenders.
Crypto Exchange OKX has partnered with McLaren to redesign their car and guide McLaren in their Web3 projects.
“I love it. The main thing when I drive a race car, whether I’m fast or slow, is that I want to look good,” Norris said with a smile. most important.”
OKX is the second-largest crypto exchange, by trading volume, and has its largest market share in Asia, says OKX CMO Haider Rafique, noting his hope that F1 exposure will help its brand awareness grow in more markets. other regions. The Malta-based company has become Official McLaren Principal Partner before the Miami Grand Prix in May and also started an official collaboration with Manchester City in March.
As McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says of F1’s digital footprint, global reach and frequency of competition, “There is no other sport that, as we say, will make you famous quickly.”
The concept behind the design of the livery is to highlight emerging technologies originating from the region. Norris is a logical ambassador as the 22-year-old pilot is an active Twitch streamer, social media poster and esports team owner who says he’s always keen to find new ways to connect with people. fans. Part of the launch includes creating an augmented reality filter in Instagram so users can digitally render the car in their own environment and create content with it.
OKX CMO hopes the exposure of Formula 1 and McLaren Racing will help raise awareness of its name in other regions.
“Safe to say everyone had a lot of fun designing these designs to use,” says Rafique. “If you think of us as a category company, we’re pretty cutting-edge when it comes to design. We tend to lean our design towards cyberpunk culture, which is largely a culture that embraces the night. What is unique about crypto markets compared to traditional markets is that these markets are open 24/7. You can literally trade these markets any time of the night, day or weekend. And I think the design tries to play that with the cityscapes and the color choices.
The sports world is considering crypto partnerships after several were scuttled or saw assets depreciate rapidly – find out more at SportTechie’s free webinar Wednesday September 28: “Vetting Crypto Partnerships: Spotting Perils and Building Long-Term Success in a Volatile Market” – and OKX is aware of this apprehension. In fact, its high profile partnership with McLaren at this point is deliberate, even though most crypto trading prices are well behind their highs.
Formula 1 is looking to the future. Crypto is obviously very forward-looking. And while it matures immensely every day, it’s a big part of the new world. So, for us, we wanted to demonstrate that together, we will do new and innovative activities.
“We’re at a really unique point in the industry,” says Rafique. “When we saw a huge increase in marketing and marketing spend deployed last year, we as a company, as a character, were quite intentionally conservative. What we don’t believe in is very aggressive marketing to new people during a bull market, as this can create very speculative behavior on the platform.
As part of the partnership, OKX will guide McLaren through its Web3 projects, including plans around the racing team’s digital collection and metaverse strategy. McLaren has been keen to embrace new technologies and in recent years has partnered with companies like data crawler and Cisco.
McLaren’s technology partnerships include OKX, DataRobot and Cisco.
“Formula 1 is about the future,” says Brown. “Crypto is obviously very forward-looking. And while it matures immensely every day, it’s a big part of the new world. So, for us, we wanted to demonstrate that together, we are going to do new and innovative activities.
McLaren will sell a limited-edition Future Mode t-shirt in its store, and the F1 ’22 video game will make Future Mode care available to fans for racing, starting Oct. 10 after the second Asian Grand Prix.
“We think now is a good time for the category to market to new customers, as there will be more caution in those markets,” Rafique says. “But more importantly, it also legitimizes the category. There is a lot of fear, uncertainty, doubt around crypto, and we believe that as an industry now is the time to really show the world that we are here. We’re here to stay, and we’re defining an absolutely new category and utility for people around the world.