NFT-funded racing aims to disrupt sports sponsorships

German GT racer Laura-Marie Geissler, creative agency Amsterdam Berlin and NFT startup Unblocked partnered up to launch the first nonfungible token, or NFT, funded motorsport team. Named after the driver, herself, the LMG racing team has decided to forgo external sponsors to fund Geissler’s race season by way of NFT sales. Whether she earns the necessary amount to race in the upcoming season will depend solely on her fans.

Geissler and her partners originally announced their campaign during the first weekend of South by Southwest, or SXSW, in Austin, Texas to in-person visitors of the Porsche Unseen installation space. One week later and LMG’s first NFT collection is set to drop. Cointelegraph spoke to Geissler about the motivations behind this experiment and the risks she is undertaking by putting her career on the line.

Traditionally in motorsports, almost all drivers are dependent on external companies to sponsor their racing, and success is based on performance and good marketing. According to Geissler, her performance wasn’t her main selling point. 

“It’s hard for women to ask people to give them money, because it becomes a very transactional relationship. It was difficult for me to find a balance and to get others to like me because of how I drive, and not just because I’m a woman or I look a certain way.”Laura-Marie Geissler. Source: Amsterdam Berlin.

Moritz Grub, founder and creative director of Amsterdam Berlin, added that motorsports is a very male-dominated and “macho” world, and part of the reason may simply be because there are mostly male sponsors. “Maybe if we had more female-led brands and companies funding racing, then there would be more female fans and viewership,” he said. 

When asked why they turned to NFTs as a possible solution, Grub said that “it’s an interesting technology that isn’t being used well at the moment.” Believing that most NFT PFP-based projects may be “schemes,” he considers the NFT-based crowdfunding model to be an alternative to “having to behave the way my sponsors want…


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