F1 enters fantasy sports with equity stake in PlayON
Formula 1 has today announced the launch of a fantasy sports game and the acquisition of a stake in PlayON, a Dublin-based software company.
The series has created two fantasy offerings: the official traditional fantasy Formula 1 game; and the official daily fantasy Formula 1 game.
PlayON will run the daily product as the official daily fantasy partner of Formula 1.
Fans will be able to pick a team of five drivers and one constructor for each race, with points awarded for finishing positions, positions gained and fastest lap, among others.
Both games are open to fans around the world.
Formula 1 has said the strategic tie-up includes the integration of live grands prix via the series’ new over-top-streaming service, F1 TV, onto the PlayON platform in "key" markets.
Additionally, Formula 1 has become an equity shareholder in PlayON at a company valuation of £30 million ($42.7 million). It marks the first time that the series has taken an equity stake in an external company.
As a result of the deal, PlayON will be entering the US market later this year.
The launch of a fantasy product is the latest venture for Formula 1 as it aims to attract a younger, more digitally-focused audience.
The highly-anticipated F1 TV OTT service will go live ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix on 13 May.
Killian Jones, founder and chief executive at PlayON, added: “PlayON is pleased to be entering this partnership with Formula 1 - the global appeal of Formula 1 makes it an ideal strategic partner. A key aspect of the deal relates to the live Formula 1 races being present on the PlayON platform.
“The combination of live sport and PlayON’s daily fantasy games will provide a fully immersive entertainment experience to our customers around the world. PlayON’s goal is to deliver the ultimate digital sports entertainment experience to sports fans and we look forward to working closely with the Formula 1 team in pursuit of this goal.
"In light of the regulatory environment around daily fantasy sports now being clearly established in multiple US states, PlayON today announces it will enter the US market in 2018 and will establish a US office to fuel our expansion efforts in North America.”
Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines, the national carrier, has extended its sponsorship of the Singapore Grand Prix for a further two years.
The airline will continue as title sponsor for the 2018 and 2019 editions of the race.
The airline signed an initial two-year deal to sponsor the Singapore Grand Prix in 2014, when it replaced Singapore Telecommunications.
Last September, the Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore GP Ltd, organisers of the race, secured a deal to keep the night race on the Formula 1 schedule until 2021.
The 2018 Singapore Grand Prix will take place on 16 September.