Racing Point agrees major sponsorship deal with SportPesa

2019 F1 season

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Racing Point is poised to announce a major new sponsorship deal with online sports betting company SportPesa for the 2019 F1 season, RaceFans has learned.

The team, previously known as Force India, has agreed a two-year deal with an option for a further season. Racing Point plans to unveil its new sponsor at its season launch at the Toronto Motor Show on February 13th.

A source with knowledge of the situation indicated the deal will be a title sponsorship arrangement and said terms had been agreed at well below the market rate for the level of exposure SportPesa will receive on the team’s cars. SportPesa is understood to be paying $8 million for its first year followed by $10m in 2020 and a further $12m if they remain for 2021.

SportPesa is an online sports betting platform with operations in Africa, the United Kingdom and Isle of Man. The brand was first launched in Kenya and derives its name in part from ‘Pesa’, a Kiswahili word meaning ‘Money’.

It is not known whether previous sponsor BWT, which was contracted under the team’s previous owners, will continue as a partner. A spokesperson for Racing Point refused to comment on either SportPesa or BWT.

The news follows last year’s announcement by Formula One Management that it had appointed an official gaming partner. Interregional Sports Group will offer live betting on F1 sessions.

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 48 comments on “Racing Point agrees major sponsorship deal with SportPesa”

    1. They will probably not renew with Sofina as it’s owned by Nicolas Latifi’s father Michael, and Nicolas is moving to Williams as reserve driver.
      So maybe this deal just replaces that one?

    2. The Sofina deal was substantially smaller and driver linked. This is independent.

      1. Hmm.. while you are here, Mr. Rencken, what about Tommy Hilfiger for Mercedes? Is that driver linked?

        1. I believe there are two contracts: a team deal, and a personal (Lewis H) deal.

    3. F1 is constantly being run on unethical money; alcohol, tobacco, gambling, oil, banks. Might be best for humanity if f1 didn’t exist at all (

      1. Even every day activities you do is somehow related to the unethical companies you mention or even help those companies. So what all should not exist?

        1. @muralibhats Yes we all should be more conscious about our decisions. If there is a way to avoid injecting money into these organisations, we should take it. Of course if I need a medicine and there’s only one option, evil option then it’s not really a decision but I’m of course not talking about extremes here. No one will die if we stop watching F1, or cut budgets in half to ban those sponsors. We’ve sort of done that with Tobacco, greater good n all that.

          1. Adub Smallblock
            21st January 2019, 22:52

            Or drive cars – oil, or wear clothes or eat food, again, oil for production and transportation.

          2. If you don’t want to watch F1 because of your ethical beliefs then don’t watch it but please don’t preach to the rest of us.

            1. Well said Foggy! Aie, Aie!

            2. Preach? This is a comments section on the topic and I’m going to post what I believe. If it hurts you, don’t go on the Internet.

          3. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
            22nd January 2019, 12:40

            @ivan-vinitskyy if you feel that strongly then boycott the sport. That means don’t watch it and don’t go on websites to read about it. Pretty simple really.

            Bye.

            1. @ftruth Saying it’s simple doesn’t make it so. Not taking part isn’t a significant step into solving a problem. In fact you somehow assumed that not having F1 is what I’m after. I like this sport too much to be so radical, not that this method is even effective. I want unethical sponsorships to stop; how and whether it’s possible is to be discussed and decided. This is why I’m talking about it, and want others to. What you’re doing is trying to silence me. That’s not helpful, and it’s either because you’re selfish (trying to stop discussions because they aren’t what you want to talk / read about) or because you support those sponsors. So which one are you?

            2. Hi Ivan – maybe you’re not getting much support here because you claim to want to discuss it but, at the same time you are telling people who don’t agree with you to get off the internet… :-)
              It’s not much of a discussion you’re having – on your own – with this attitude…
              And it certainly isn’t the debate you were presumably hoping for…
              I’m left wondering why you are so new to this site… Are you a confirmed F1 fan, or are you just using the site to preach… Now there’s a potential discussion… ;-)

            3. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
              24th January 2019, 10:11

              @ivan-vinitskyy dude that made zero sense to me sorry.

              You literally said the words “Might be best for humanity if f1 didn’t exist at all” well, you can make it not exist for you personally if you think it’s unethical, that’s the point I was making.

              You can’t really expect to make such an inflammatory remark on an enthusiast website and expect agreement and consensus.

      2. You are allowed to preach yes and we are allowed to say its hypocritical in a world full of such companies to single out F1 which always seems to happen from people like you. If you don’t want to support the sponsorships don’t watch F1

        1. I’m passionate about F1 so I’ve chosen it to talk about. There may be a lot of unethical things we unknowingly do but so what now? We should do nothing for things we clearly realise are not right because someone may say its hypocritical? We have to start somewhere.

          and btw your comment very much smells like whataboutism…

          1. So F1 itself (the people inside it) has been doing unethical things for decades. For you to be passionate about F1 tells me that you’re not all that bent out of shape when it comes to unethical behaviour. How else would you have been able to stand BE’s (the worshiper of dictators) last 10 F1 years of greed and extortion and still remain passionate about F1? I’m fine with you being on a bit of a soapbox on this issue, but let’s be clear it’s a soapbox sitting on a pile of quicksand.

            1. @robbie I was never fine with BE, countries chosen to host races or some partners. I don’t like how much money is being extracted from F1 teams and its viewers either. There’s a lot I don’t like. My passion has little to do with financials, I’m sad that the world runs this way where sometimes difficult choices have to be made to deliver engineering and racing.

            2. @ivan-vinitskyy Fair comment. Well said.

          2. And yours reek of social justice warrior.

            “Halp! Halp! They’re trying to silence me!!”

    4. I’m guessing now that online betting is tied with Formula 1 itself, we’ll see a rush of betting companies joining the sport as sponsors. I guess they’ll be the new tobacco/alcohol sponsorship.

      To an extent, I think they are even worse than those two…

      1. Hard to be worse than tobacco, but IMO it’s a close second,@fer-no65.
        Those are actually the two industries I refuse to work in/for.
        On the other hand, I have no problems with alcohol and spent many years in the beer and wine industry.

      2. I’d argue that alcohol is far worse from the three for F1, drinking and driving and all…

        I have no issue with sports betting whatsoever, I know that people get addicted but this is down to the individual. You wouldn’t blame Red Bull if someone got diabetes from drinking 10 cans a day, would you?

        1. But you can blame Martini for drinking too much? Hard to see any difference.

          1. Drinking alcohol leads to the deaths of many people who don’t drink, is what Iosif means. That argument is also true, to a lesser extent, for tobacco. And sports betting also causes misery for the family members of gambling addicts. But of the three, alcohol causes by far the most misery to third parties, that’s for sure.

            1. By that metric, cars are downright EVIL….

              (Does anyone think this stuff thru before spouting it?)

        2. I would certainly blame Red Bull (the company, not the F1 team per sé, and also regret the governments who accept payment not to clamp down on these things.

    5. This is not great news. I drink, I used to smoke and I have betted on horses 3 times in my life but…. Tobacco, alcohol and betting companies should not be major sponsors of sport.

      1. betted on horses 3 times in my life

        Choice of username have anything to do with that? ;-)

        (kidding)

    6. Disgrace for the sport and fans. Such a shame that their last big deal was for clean water and this is for dirt. Apparently, statistics show that £3 out of every £5 bookies take is from gambling addicts. Racing Point lost my support…I hope they will lose.

      1. Wow. Its like saying Devil is bad because he makes you do bad things! Its a choice ppl take. If ppl cannot think wisely and can be swayed easily, atleast dont blame it on the other party! They are a industry and they contribute to economy and people’s livelihood. Its not that they trick you into gambling. Its a weakness in some people to get addicted. Liquor, smoking and gambling industry grew due to demand and now they need to sustain the growth.

        So you are hoping the team that employs so many ppl loose and they get into trouble? Good. More ppl can gamble after loosing jobs and bookies can make 💰

        1. Would you say the same about drug dealing?

          1. Are they in F1? And also included in your initial arguement?

            1. Anyways. Drugs industry is bad and way different than the others. Smoking and drinking are bad too.. but there is a legal availability of these than drugs.

    7. The big question is what will that do to their livery. Will this be the end of the Pink Panthers?

    8. Betting is an interesting route to go down given the scrutiny football is currently under. I wonder how long it will last?

    9. Betting will be good for the sport. Every other sport that has betting has “random” results. F1 needs to break the monotony.

      SportPesa will be uniquely placed to offer odds on Racing Point too!

      1. Umm… you can already bet on F1 in Australia. Betting is not something new to the sport.

        This sponsorship deal with Racing Point is (to them).

    10. One would think that historically Formula One is one of the most wining-streak driven sports and hence not very appealing to bookies.

      1. Or more appealing as people don’t tend to make bets when the odds are so low, but might divert their money to an outlier for a chance of scoring big (which is likely to not happen).

        1. It sounds like a lot of people on here are unfamiliar with the concept of betting on F1 and sport in general. In Australia betting on sport has been the norm for years.

          It isn’t simply a matter of placing your money on the winner, there are all manner of different things you can bet on. For instance you can bet on someone being on the podium, top 5 top 10 or even just finishing the race. You can bet on a driver beating his team mate or where someone will qualify. You can even bet on things like whether there will be a safety car in the race or how many finishers there will be.

          On any given race weekend there will be about 150 different markets that a punter can place a wage on. I have been guilty of placing the odd bet on a race before but it hasn’t made me an addict, in fact he has help me to be more invested in some of the more boring races.

          If betting companies want to inject money in this amazing sport and help it grow back to what it was in the tobacco era of racing then i am all for that.

          1. Betting on F1 was a thing in the UK in the early 2000s. The Nelson Piquet Jr incident at Singapore 2008 pretty much put paid to it as a major element of betting shops (betting shops prefer to make odds on events that aren’t quite so blatantly rigged), though I’m fairly sure every major provider still takes F1 bets.

            1. Betting on F1 has been going on for many, many years and still does. It’s market share has fallen partly due to it being perceived as uncompetitive by punters and the fact that bookies really don’t like betting on sport. That may sound strange but they prefer punters to play in their casino’s and ‘virtual’ sports where the bookies can’t lose.
              That one ‘fixed race’ was just that, a one off. Formula 1 has a very good reputation for not being fixed, just uncompetitive. Some cite team orders as being examples of match fixing but that is just a lack of understanding of the sport.
              It will be very interesting to see if SportsPesa, a relative newcomer in the betting world, will actually take any significant bets on F1. I suspect they are simply using F1’s global reach to improve their brand awareness rather than to develop a big following of F1 bettors.
              I will open an account but fully expect to be limited to tiny stakes within a few races, win or lose.

    11. I will die if F1 stops.

    12. More exposure of online betting to young sports fans. Just great. So healthy.

    13. The sin taxes, (Smokes, Booze, and gambling theft) are unfortunately with us, and have been for years, and centuries. They will not disappear, unless a dictatorship takes over the world.

      We can object, but everyone has personal rights.

      All we can do is not patronize those products.

    14. Interesting. It does not mention anything about the deal being a title sponsorship. Makes one wonder how big this exposure they’re talking about is exactly. Will BWT and its pink livery stay on the cars or not?
      Szafnauer (or was it Stroll?) said that BWT were very likely to stay on, but then again, that was before this was announced.

    Comments are closed.