VROOM, VROOM: Online Poker’s Formula One Love Affair Continues With PokerStars-Red Bull Deal

Online poker operators continue expanding their footprints into the world of auto racing. PokerStars announced a partnership with Formula One’s Red Bull Racing on Friday.

The deal offers the company increased promotion in a growing international sport. Operators have seen Formula One as an opportunity to attract new players to the industry. The thinking goes that racing fans who enjoy action on the track may also enjoy some action on the virtual poker felt as well.

“Red Bull Racing is an ideal fit for PokerStars because it’s not just about what you offer fans and players but the ethos and vision behind how you offer it,” PokerStars’ parent company Flutter International CEO Dan Taylor said in a news release. “Part of our vision for PokerStars is to create the world’s most epic casino, built on player experiences, giving our community moments they’ll never forget.

“Red Bull Racing’s phenomenal success is built on their bold, innovative, and passionate ethos, which has led to incredible success both on the track and in becoming one of the world’s most popular sports brands. We’re looking forward to working with the Team and sharing further developments as the 2022 season approaches. We wish the Red Bull Racing team all the best for their new campaign.”

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PokerStars adds to its Formula One presence

This isn’t the first foray into Formula One for PokerStars. The company’s parent group, Flutter International, announced in June 2021 that it had partnered with Interregional Sports Group (ISG) and Formula One.

That agreement sees the Stars brand featured exclusively throughout the European broadcast market for each season through 2023. The Red Bull deal comes ahead of the 2022 Formula One season and now links Stars not just to the racing circuit but to an individual team.

“The new relationship enables both Red Bull Racing and PokerStars to reach audiences who share similar passions and interests, while rewarding and engaging existing fans and players in new and unique ways with Formula One-fueled entertainment, as well as epic experiences, promotions, competitions, and content,” the company notes.

Red Bull will feature PokerStars branding on the RB18 car and race suits. F1 remains the most popular auto racing circuit in the world.

“Following last year’s blockbuster Formula One season, I am delighted to kick off 2022 by announcing PokerStars as a new partner,” Red Bull racing team principal and CEO Christian Horner said. “In our sport we see constant evolution, not only applied to the cars but also to new technologies that are focused on reaching the sport’s global fanbase to provide new and interactive experiences for them to enjoy.”

Growing promotional and content opportunities

The Formula One opportunity offers some unique content and promotional possibilities for PokerStars. The company envisions a wide-ranging promotional and content-creation campaign.

That will be seen across PokerStars’ full poker, casino, and sports betting platforms. The Reb Bull brand trends to a younger audience, a market rife for adding new players.

Stars isn’t the only online operator in the Formula One fold. Partypoker announced a deal in May 2021 with McLaren Racing.

The company has used the partnership to create contests for players as well as racing-themed tournaments. Party has also created a video series offering behind-the-scenes insight and interviews with McLaren insiders.

The need for sponsorship dollars is a symbiotic relationship. Running a Formula One team costs tens of millions of dollars each year. Sponsors are critical and help subsidize a team’s budget.

In turn, sponsors gain access to a passionate fan base. In the case of online poker companies, bring in new players is key. Formula One adds to the industry’s efforts at converting some of those race fans to poker fans.

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