Drone Racing League Receives $ 100 Million Deal With Algorand Crypto Platform

Drone Racing League

Source: Drone Racing League

The New York-based Drone Racing League has signed its most significant sponsorship agreement to date with the Algorand cryptocurrency platform, the company announced on Tuesday.

DRL is a first-person view racing league in which drone pilots race devices through neon-lit courses and compete for prize money. The company was founded in 2017 and is now valued at $ 200 million, according to PitchBook.

The terms of the deal with Algorand weren’t released, but people who knew about the deal told CNBC that it was a five-year pact worth $ 100 million. The German-based financial services company Allianz held the title rights since the beginning of DRL and will remain a league partner. Excel Sports Management has negotiated the deal with Algorand.

In an interview with CNBC last week, DRL President Rachel Jacobson called the pact with Algorand “transformative” and the “perfect marriage”. She added the crypto platform, and DRL is both aimed at a “tech-setter” fan base.

Jacobson described Gen Z audiences as digitally savvy, early adopters “who are as concerned with an Apple iPhone rollout as they are with sports and entertainment,” she said. “When you look at what’s happening with crypto and blockchain, you need to make sure you’re targeting the right audience.”

Boston-based Algorand has a blockchain or digital ledger and is traded on the cryptocurrency exchange under the ticker symbol ALGO. As crypto continues to evolve in the financial sector, companies are positioning themselves to attract more digital consumers by using sports sponsorship to create awareness.

That year, crypto companies took over sports naming rights in the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and one company landed a $ 100 million deal with Formula 1 from Liberty Media.

Drone Racing League

Source: Drone Racing League

Jacobson, a former NBA executive, said sports help newer companies gain brand awareness, but added that crypto firms still need to educate younger audiences about the space and use engaging platforms to get their message across. According to DRL, it reaches around 75 million fans worldwide

“You have to put in the right programming so it’s not just a logo punch,” Jacobson said. “The crypto community is too smart – they can only see through a jersey patch or signage. They want to know: ‘How can I get involved? And how will that change my sports experience? ‘”

DRL starts its sixth season on September 29th. The league has media rights deals with NBCUniversal and a streaming deal with Twitter. Other sponsorships include agreements with DraftKings, T-Mobile, Bodyarmor, and the US Air Force. DRL is helping the Air Force recruit and train future drone drivers.

Drones used at racing events are designed and built by DRL who build models for each race. The drones are worth around $ 2,000 and can fly up to 90 miles per hour.

The global drone market – described as the “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle” sector – is projected to reach $ 58 billion by Markets and Markets by 2026. Since DRL also acts as a drone manufacturer, Jacobson said it wants to use products to generate more revenue.

“The possibilities are endless,” Jacobson said, noting that more and more companies are testing deliveries with drones. “We build our drones and when we think of other lines of business it could be anything. We’re just getting started.”

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.

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