Australian McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo met Cointelegraph during the Token2049 conference in Singapore, where he discussed his recent involvement in cryptocurrency ahead of the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix.
Along with OKX CMO Haider Rafique, the duo entered into a new partnership between McLaren Racing and the cryptocurrency exchange, and explored a variety of interesting marketing moves between the two brands.
Ricciardo appeared in a new OKX commercial launched earlier this year standing next to the McLaren MCL36 F1 race car while a “soul animal” honey badger sat in the car’s cockpit. The tongue-in-cheek announcement highlights the relatively unknown state of the cryptocurrency world, which continues to search for ways to drive wider adoption of the space.
– Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) September 28, 2022
As a first point of order, Ricardo admitted that he first discovered the cryptocurrency world in 2021 and told Cointelegraph that he was first intrigued by friends.
“Last year I got involved for the first time, and got my OKX wallet and it was really out of a lot of curiosity. A lot of my friends got involved in that and then through relationship with the team I joined on board and I’m learning every day,” he explained.
Formula 1 drivers are known for their tendency to push boundaries in various aspects of their lives, and Ricciardo joked that his foray into cryptocurrency accelerated rather quickly. The 33-year-old said he was trying to increase his knowledge of the space and saw the value of the diversification offered by the cryptocurrency markets.
“I was really starting to get so involved that some of the people on my team were like, ‘Okay, I’ve been spending too long here. “It’s cool and I’m definitely curious about diversifying and trying to understand more about space.”
Meanwhile, OKX has been exploring creative marketing efforts through its multi-year partnership with McLaren, announcing a livery takeover for the next two stops on the F1 calendar. The bold and orange OKX brand is at the forefront and center of the Singapore and Japanese Grand Prix races, and Ricciardo believes the effort will attract more fans to the crypto world.
Look at the MCL36 in #FutureMode.
– McLaren (@McLarenF1) September 27 2022
Ricciardo said the new paint in Singapore and Japan is about “fan engagement” and getting them on board.
“OKX is up front, as with Formula 1, we’re trying to innovate and think forward. It’s great, and I think this is the first time this has been done with a livery takeover,”
Rafeeq highlighted the synergies between the cryptocurrency industry and Formula 1, with the “speed of innovation” from the sport paralleling the speed at which the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem continued to develop:
“Ultimately, the fun we all have comes from creating together. Just with this outfit, my design teams have worked very closely together and we’re very excited to be working with the McLaren F1 Team, with Daniel and now we have this amazing design that we’re excited for the world to see.”
Formula 1 marks its return to the Singapore street circuit for the first time since 2019. Preparations for the race coincided with the Token2049 conference, as the street circuit slowly assembled until a complete road closure began on September 29.
Before Covid-19, Ricciardo enjoyed success on the track and hopes to emulate his previous finishes on the city podium:
“Nice to be back, 2019 was the last time and I’ve always loved street circuits and before it was all over I was on the right track trying to figure everything out because it doesn’t look different when it’s not put together. I’m really happy to be back, I’ve got some podiums The coronation is here in the past, so let’s just say I’m coming from hot weather.”
Formula 1 continues to attract marketing and advertising deals with the biggest companies in the cryptocurrency world. OKX was the latest cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform to strike a deal with a major team, signing up as McLaren’s primary partner in May 2022.
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