Visa enters F1 with Red Bull, rebrands AlphaTauri with wordy new team name



Visa F1

Visa will enter Formula One this year with Red Bull Racing in its first new global sports sponsorship agreement in 15 years.

Visa has taken over the title sponsorship of Red Bull’s second team, which has been called Scuderia AlphaTauri since 2020 when Red Bull put its fashion label on its two junior cars. The team said Wednesday it will be called Visa Cash App RB F1 Team when Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda start the season.

The rebrand is the second one in F1 ahead of this upcoming season — the team most recently known as Alfa Romeo is now called Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber — and the third name in history for Red Bull’s junior team.

The team was known as Scuderia Toro Rosso — the Italian translation of Red Bull — from its 2006 debut season until 2020. Visa’s deal with Red Bull is for three years, its senior vice president of global sponsorship strategy told The Associated Press.

Andrea Fairchild also acknowledged that the new team name is a “mouthful” and Visa was eager to see how fans will casually refer to the formal name.

“The best way to explain it is we had an opportunity, as we do with all of our global clients, specifically with Cash App in the United States, in teaming up with Red Bull,” Fairchild said. “It is a mouthful but it was a way that we could showcase one of our key clients. There wasn’t a way to shorten it after bringing those two things together.

“The fans will certainly decide how they reference it,” she continued. “It is our formal name that we’ve introduced to the marketplace. We certainly are capturing all the brands involved and this complex equation, but we’ll listen to the feedback and I’m certain we’ll pick up on some really interesting nuances and I think the fans will have some fun with it.”

The Visa logo will be on all of Red Bull’s F1 properties, including the cars of three-time champion Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, as well as the Visa Cash App RB entry in the F1 Academy. Visa becomes the third billion-dollar American company to join Red Bull as a sponsor in the last two years; Oracle is the title sponsor of the main two Red Bull cars, while Hard Rock International also launched a partnership.

Visa also follows American companies MoneyGram, and most recently American Express and Meta via its WhatsApp brand, as new sponsors in F1. The interest from U.S.-based companies has grown with F1’s recent uptick in popularity in America, where F1 raced a series-high three times in 2023.

“F1 has an immensely passionate fanbase, so for us, the partnership and Formula One really gives us a platform for the brand globally, and there’s not a lot of opportunities in that space,” Fairchild said. “It gives us the ability to think about and drive business for our clients, and it really aligns our brand with Formula One’s popularity… it is one of the fastest growing sports on the planet.”

Visa, which has long been an official partner of the Olympics, the Women’s World Cup and the NFL, was also lured into joining F1 behind the series’ commitment to women’s empowerment and economic advancement. The new team name will be used in the all-female F1 Academy series that this year will compete in conjunction with seven F1 weekends.

“There’s no greater unifier than sports,” said Catherine Ferdon, Head of Brand, Cash App. “This sponsorship allows us to deepen our relationship with Formula One fans and furthers Cash App’s commitment to supporting and growing the culture of F1 fandom in the United States, while offering more value to our customers.

“We have a history of elevating emerging talent and look forward to sponsoring a team known for developing incredible up-and-coming drivers.”

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AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing



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