The U.K.-based McLaren will launch its fan token – which it says is the first of its kind in Formula 1 racing – through the new partnership. Bitci.com will also become an official partner of the racing team, according to Wednesday’s announcement. Bitci.com is a Turkish cryptocurrency exchange with around $50 million in 24-hour traded volume.
McLaren joins other prominent sports teams that have launched fan tokens. The digital limited-edition tokens allow a sports team to make partners out of their fans: token owners earn voting rights on certain decisions made by the teams and other benefits specific to different sports clubs. In 2020, premier league soccer club FC Barcelona made $1.3 million in sales after launching its fan token $BAR.
Earlier this month, Malta-based fan token platform Chillz said it plans to spend $50 million to expand operations to include teams from major U.S. sports leagues like baseball and football.
In 2020, Turkey hosted the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix for the first time since 2011. Due to the pandemic, the country decided to go ahead with the race but without fans attending. The global audience for the 2020 Grand Prix was an estimated 433 million.
“The fact that McLaren Racing, one of the most outstanding teams and considered as one of the legends of Formula 1 all over the world with its successes, has chosen to work with a Turkish blockchain company for this project is very significant as this is the solid proof for the global success of Turkish entrepreneurs, engineers and software developers,” Çağdaş Çağlar, chairman at Bitci Technology said in a press statement.
The McLaren team, founded in 1963, has had over 180 race wins.