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Haas lands MoneyGram as title sponsor

Oct 20 (Reuters) – Formula One team Haas will have payments and money transfer company MoneyGram (MGI.O) as title sponsor from next season under a multi-year deal that will provide a welcome silver infusion for the series only. United States based outfit.

The support was officially announced at a downtown Austin cafe on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas.

Haas entered F1 in 2016 and spent much of that time without a title sponsor other than Haas Automation, the company of machine tool industrialist and team owner Gene Haas.

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The Ferrari-powered team is eighth out of 10 teams in the constructors’ standings, level on points with ninth-placed AlphaTauri.

Uralkali, owned by Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin, was the team’s most recent title sponsor but the potash producer was forced out of the sport in February after the oligarch was placed on a sanctions blacklist of the European Union following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which Moscow calls a ‘special operation’.

MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes told Reuters Formula 1 and Haas were the perfect fit for a company that operates in more than 200 countries and territories and is looking to boost its brand.

Next year there will be a record 24 races in 21 countries and five continents, including three in the United States.

“We like to think of ourselves as one of the fastest ways to send money and with F1 being one of the fastest sports in the world, we think it’s a fantastic overlap and a hugely unique opportunity. for us,” Holmes told Reuters.

“When you think of Haas itself, it’s a bit of a rock and roll team and under Gene’s leadership and his partnership with Guenther (Steiner, team principal), I think they’ve created a team really convincing.

“A lot of people might think they (Haas) are kind of an underdog and that’s absolutely the fun thing about it – people want to root for them, they want them to succeed and I think that it’s a great partnership.”

MoneyGram has previously explored sports sponsorship and has partnered with ICC Cricket and Major League Soccer club FC Dallas.

Holmes said the company had plenty of opportunities to get into Formula 1, but only recently found the right fit and timing, with the sport experiencing a spike in popularity partly due to the famous Netflix series “Drive to Survive”.

‘GAME CHANGER’

All three races in America, including the United States Grand Prix near MoneyGram’s home base in Dallas, were attractive, with Holmes describing the addition of Las Vegas to the schedule as a “game changer”.

“I think it was a combination of (things) a change in the framework around the Formula 1 brand, the introduction of some of the new races and clearly the association with Netflix’s ‘Drive To Survive’ that really brought a completely different demographic,” he said.

“I think the Vegas run is a game-changer. I think Miami has a lot of glitz.

“Races that have been so historic, so iconic for so many years, like Monaco, retain that luster, but adding something like Las Vegas, I think, is like Monaco modernized on steroids.

“This is an opportunity to bring this sport to life in the American market.”

The Haas driver line-up includes Danish veteran Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time world champion Michael, but the German is out of contract at the end of the season and faces an uncertain future.

Haas has in the past asked drivers to bring sponsorship or support from Ferrari, but Steiner said the team will face fewer limitations in a number of areas as a result of the MoneyGram deal.

“With the right finances, everything is better,” he told Reuters. “We work to see what we want to do… we don’t put a deadline because otherwise if we don’t reach it, you put pressure on yourself to make a decision and maybe the wrong one or you disappoint people.

“We remain completely open and once we know exactly what we want, once we have a deal, we will announce it.”

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Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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