After a two-year hiatus owing to COVID, Formula 1 returned to Australia this past April and deployed non-fungible tokens to engage fans as part of the AusGP Access program.
Customers purchased token packs which gave them the chance to win experiences and benefits, including merchandise discounts and pit lane walks. Fans could also use tokens to bid in online auctions for Track Hot Laps, where one rides a lap around the Grand Prix Circuit. This system significantly democratizes fan access to such exclusive experiences normally only available to corporate sponsors or the highest tier of ticket holders.
“AusGP Access was a first for Australian sport – utilising the power of the blockchain to deliver innovative and exciting experiences that lets fans get closer to the action and event than ever before, unlocking a range of thrilling experiences like early access to presales, exclusive viewing areas, exclusive content, helicopter tours of the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit and even hot laps,” said Arthur Gillion, General Manager of Marketing and Experience, Australian Grand Prix Corporation.
Sports marketing company Power’d Digital collaborated with the CENNZnet blockchain for the solution. Although relatively unknown internationally, CENNZnet claims to be New Zealand’s largest public blockchain platform. Power’d Digital, on the other hand, is usually associated with the Flow blockchain.
For AusGP, it harnessed blockchain to learn more about its consumer market. Thousands of tokens were purchased and also regifted, allowing AusGP to examine their fans’ demographics in greater detail.
Most applications of NFTs in motor racing have largely been through team sponsorships or the sale of NFTs to raise funds. In February, the Race Team Alliance collaborated with Candy Digital to release NASCAR themed NFTs. Meanwhile, Red Bull Racing signed an NFT deal with Tezos, also their Official Blockchain Partner. Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has even clinched a nine-year deal as the title sponsor of the Miami Grand Prix.