Last month, it was reported that Ferrari and crypto project Velas had parted ways ahead of the 2023 season.
The deal saw Ferrari receive a reported $30 million per year as part of the sponsorship partnership – which included a Velas logo being prominently displayed on their challenger’s rear wing – and a broader collaboration.
It was reported that Velas terminated the deal as Ferrari failed to meet its commitments – namely a partnership to develop Ferrari-themed NFTs, or non-fungible tokens.
However, London Insider can exclusively reveal that Velas had to force its way out of the agreement, amid the crypto bear market, with sources telling this publication that “Velas were looking for any excuse” to get out of their financial commitment to Ferrari.
This comes amid Velas, and the vast majority of other crypto projects, aggressively scaling back their marketing campaigns.
Velas’ token is down over 94 percent year to date amid the broader crypto market downturn, according to data from Coin Market Cap.
This development comes hot on the heels of Mercedes losing one of their biggest backers, with now-defunct crypto exchange FTX going bankrupt in late 2022.
In an interview in November, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said he was in “utter disbelief” by the demise of FTX.
“But this situation is very unfortunate. We considered FTX because they were one of the most credible and solid, financially sound partners that were out there,” Wolff said.
“And out of nowhere we can see that a crypto company can basically be on its knees and gone (in) one week. That shows how vulnerable the sector still is.
“It’s unregulated and I believe it needs to find its way into regulations because there’s so many customers, investors and partners like us that have been left in utter disbelief at what has happened,” he added.