While sports and crypto partnerships have ruled the roost for years, advertising regulations in France might make cryptocurrency ads more scarce in the country’s top sports events.
Recent reports have noted that the country’s legal rules around promotions and increased supervision by the watchdogs have made it harder for crypto businesses to advertise crypto-related products or their platforms. And while these businesses remain barred from promoting the virtual asset sector, it has resulted in drying out their visibility during the 2022 French Grand Prix weekend.
This is especially tricky considering eight of ten teams have been reported to have some sort of crypto partner, with Williams and Haas being the only exceptions per RacingNews365.
Massive crypto company sponsorships
Alfa Romeo, for example, had partnered with now bankrupt Vauld and meme-inspired Floki. This is while Red Bull Racing has teamed up with crypto exchange ByBit and Tezos network. F1 and Aston Martin also have agreements with Singapore-based exchange Crypto.com.
Crypto.com told the media outlet that the platform “decided they would not be exercising their branding rights for this race.”
Further adding, “But it remains F1’s global partner and we expect such rights to be leveraged in other ways at future races.”
Meanwhile, Red Bull Racing stated: “Our legal team is aware of the situation, and we are in communication with our partners.”
McLaren confirmed in a statement to the sports paper that the team is aware of cryptocurrency advertising restrictions and has been working closely with partner OKX on the matter.
In addition, AlphaTauri was not able to promote its sponsor Fantom due to the tightening domestic oversight. AlphaTauri told the media outlet: “Knowing about the regulations here in France as for cryptocurrency, after discussions with our partner, it was decided to avoid any advertising on French soil.”
Advertising rules in France
In France, before any asset is made available to the public, virtual asset service providers are required to register with the securities regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).
That said, the regulator prohibits four promotional activities in the sector, as per a laid down by ORWL Avocats. It includes direct solicitation to subscribe to the asset class, quasi-solicitation by collecting personal data, sponsorships with the aim to promote an ICO or a VASP, and misleading ads, in order to safeguard consumers.
And not to mention that the stock regulator has also raised concerns around the asset class on several occasions in the past.
However, it remains to see whether France will miss out on the economic benefits that the crypto sector has to offer, or it will harness it while making the rules stricter. Especially considering that a previous report by sports analytics firm Nielsen Sports predicted that crypto deals in sports could be worth a lot, snowballing into a $5 billion industry by 2026.
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