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Thursday 25 January 2024

Sponsorships push the boundaries of good sense

Money 1, Good Taste 0 

Sponsorship is a necessary evil in the world of sport, but sometimes companies push just a little too hard.

For instance, the Red Bull-owned Scuderia AlphaTauri Formula One team will be renamed Visa Cash App RB for the 2024 season.

It's hard to imagine even the fiercest of fans cheering on a team with such an absurd name.

And Visa Cash App RB is the third different name for the former Minardi team in the past six seasons, following Toro Rosso and Alpha Tauri.

Visa will apparently be a global partner for both the senior Red Bull Racing team and its little brother.

Visa Cash App RB will reveal its new look for the 2024 season at a launch event in Las Vegas on February 8 featuring drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda with the promise of a “newly designed Visa and Cash App-inspired car livery”.

In another sponsorship-driven move the Sauber racing team will now be known as Stake F1 team: named after the sponsor: a cryptocurrency-based gambling company. Wonder how winemaker/driver Valtteri Bottas feels about that?

Red Bull is also responsible for naming football teams its sponsors like RB Liepzig and RB Salzburg, but naming teams for sponsors is fortunaely banned in many countries.
Some of absurd exceptions to that rule have included the hilarious Insurance Management Bears in the Bahamas, Prima Ham FC in Japan (now thankfully renamed as the slightly less absurd Mito Hollyhock), and Botswana Meat Commission FC in Botswana.

How low can we go? 

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