How OKX convinced F1 star Daniel Ricciardo it’s safe to promote crypto


Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo and his Olympic snowboarder mate Scotty James say they at all times suppose lengthy and onerous in regards to the dangers of selling the flawed factor. 

And as model ambassadors for crypto alternate OKX, that little doubt was on the forefront of their minds when FTX collapsed and markets crashed — mere months after they signed on.

The dangers then turned all too obvious within the acres of negative publicity and lawsuits over comic Larry David and retired NFL quarterback Tom Brady’s endorsement offers with FTX.

Even Hollywood good man Matt Damon confronted blowback from everybody from South Park to Stephen Colbert on account of his Superbowl industrial for, encouraging normies to purchase crypto proper earlier than the market crash.

Daniel Ricciardo, Haider Rafique and Scotty James onstage at Token2049.

Crypto already had a reasonably combined popularity when Ricciardo signed up in May 2022, and he admits it took some time to get snug with the thought. 

“I’ve been within the sport a very long time the place for positive, numerous issues get put in entrance of me, which is thrilling.”

“But you kind of also learn when to say ‘no, that’s not right for me,’” he told Cointelegraph at Token2049, nursing a fractured hand that has taken him out of the Sept. 17 Singapore Grand Prix.

Ricciardo is one of the most popular F1 drivers in the world and has a team that ensures he doesn’t get into hot water. Minders struck out direct questions about FTX ahead of the chat, required approval for photos of the interview, and bustled him away after 10 minutes for his next appearance.

Trust in crypto wavered after FTX blow-up

OKX’s strategy to become the “first crypto lifestyle brand” was pushed by Chief Marketing Officer Haider Rafique. The cryptexchange signed multi-million greenback sponsorship offers with sports activities franchises like F1 workforce McLaren and United Kingdom Premier League workforce Manchester United.

“We certainly get those calls,” Rafique stated, “from McLaren or Man City. ‘Hey, is everything all right over there? Like the industry looks a little shaky?’ And we have to understand and put ourselves in their shoes and respond accordingly.” He says the alternate’s month-to-month proof of reserves reviews are an enormous think about gaining belief. 

But even after getting his previous workforce on board (Ricciardo now drives for AlphaTauri) Rafique nonetheless wanted to acquire the F1 driver’s belief. “It wasn’t a transactional relationship, it was a personal relationship,” he stated.

Ricciardo defined it labored as Rafique did “a really good job to bring us in on personal level to educate us and inform us.”

“I was curious and wanted to learn — I had a lot of comfort going in with them. I’ve seen enough now to know that this is good for me, and it’s safe for me to kind of get involved in this.”

Unfortunately, as Damon’s ill-fated deal exhibits, due diligence can solely take you to this point. The alternate wasn’t accused of something and didn’t collapse however Damon’s popularity took successful as markets crashed.

“The thing that was probably blowback for them was the message and it was poorly timed: ‘Fortune favors the brave,’ and then the brave crashed,” stated Rafique.

Related: OKX crypto exchange enters final preparation stage of Hong Kong VASP license application

As a mate of Ricciardo’s, four-time Olympian James already had a private connection when he signed on with OKX and was already involved in NFTs. But it nonetheless would have been a shock when FTX collapsed a month later.

Fans line up to get pics with Daniel Ricciardo and Scotty James at Token2049. 

“Until you understand something 100% at its full capacity, naturally you’re going to have reservations,” he stated, including that the platform’s makes an attempt to simplify and educate about crypto and buying and selling put him comfy. 

“I built trust over time with doing that, and we feel pretty good about it,” he stated. “But to say 12 months ago, I would say the same thing? No.”

James said that snowboarding was a lifestyle choice that appeals to a “young demographic” and crypto is too due to its decentralization.

“I think my generation and younger than me are the ones that are really going to change that narrative for investing, whether it’s in cryptocurrency or other investments moving forward.”

While the pair joked about releasing NFTs throughout their onstage look at Token2049, that’s not going to occur till markets get well, stated Rafique.

“For their NFTs, it’s certainly not going to be about a speculative asset. It’s going to be baked into how we can bring their fans closer to them through this asset that they can own. So I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon.”

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