F1 team Mercedes-AMG Petronas said today that it has suspended its sponsorship deal with crypto exchange FTX.
FTX filed for bankruptcy protection today, days after acknowledging a liquidity crunch and attempting to have Binance acquire it.
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX spent big on sports sponsorships, and we’re starting to see the fallout from those deals as the firm collapses amid a liquidity crunch. Today, popular Formula One team Mercedes-AMG Petronas said that it is suspending its FTX sponsorship deal.
The team will remove FTX branding from its car for this weekend’s São Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil. On Thursday, the team said that it planned to maintain the branding into this weekend for the season’s next-to-last race. Today, it changed course.
“The company will no longer appear on our race car and other branded assets from this weekend,” a team spokesperson said. “We will continue to monitor closely the situation as it evolves.”
FTX has been removed from the partners page on the team’s website, and the previous link highlighting its FTX deal is now broken. However, the exchange’s logo still appears at the bottom of the website, as of the time of publication. Decrypt reached out to a team spokesperson to clarify its plans around the FTX deal but did not immediately hear back.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas signed the FTX deal in September 2021 in the midst of what became the team’s eighth-straight World Constructors’ Championship for amassing the most points during the season. Terms for the sponsorship deal were never disclosed.
In May, FTX launched an NFT initiative with Mercedes-AMG Petronas around the Miami Grand Prix race. The exchange offered up free Solana-based NFT “ticket stub” collectibles for fans to claim at that race and others this season, plus auctioned off Ethereum NFTs tied to artwork from pseudonymous artist Mad Dog Jones. Two of the NFTs came with a piece of the respective cars driven by Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in Miami.