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RB F1 Financial Strategy

RB F1’s Rebranding: A Strategic Financial Move

26/02/2024

RB F1’s recent rebranding underscores the critical role of sponsorship in achieving financial targets essential for competitive performance.

Visa Cash App RB: The official name given to the team succeeding AlphaTauri was met with such limited success that it is now commonly referred to as RB F1.

The initially intended name did not catch on; would it not have been wiser to name the team ‘Racing Bulls’ from the start, as was once considered?

Naming the team Racing Bulls would have had the advantage of clarity; it would also have better highlighted the energy drink brand… Nevertheless, the press has somewhat reverted, now calling the team RB F1 (short for Racing Bulls, the team’s ‘commercial’ name in Italy… yes, it’s confusing!).

However, Peter Bayer, the team’s CEO, defended his branding choice to the press in Bahrain. Is he fully satisfied with the current situation?

RB F1: Complex Rebrand with Strategic Partners

RB F1 Financial Strategy

“Regarding the team’s brand change, I believe it was a complex exercise with many stakeholders involved. But, ultimately, we were very pleased because we faced the incredible challenge of having Visa, Cash App, and Red Bull support us and say, ‘We want to take this team to the next level.'”

“They joined us on this journey. Partly, that’s the reason for our somewhat complicated and pompous name, but at the same time, it’s the reality. It’s Visa, it’s Cash App, and it’s Red Bull supporting us as Racing Bulls, the Italian company.”

Bayer does not hide the true reason for this rebranding: the need for money! Without Visa Cash App, the Faenza team would still not be at the budget cap…

“Ultimately, we need sponsors to make this work – it’s a reality. We have shareholder support, we receive money from Formula 1, but it’s not enough to reach the budget cap, and, in the end, the cap is defined by the regulations.”

“How do we bridge this gap? We must sell what we have in stock. We don’t think that’s a bad thing. I know it’s controversial because it’s obviously easier to be Ferrari than RB, but in the medium term, we believe the RB – Racing Bulls element is strong enough to integrate strong commercial partners.”

RB F1 Financial Strategy

Peter Bayer seems a bit out of touch with reality when he claims that the team’s name, as well as the car’s (VCARB 01), has been embraced by everyone.

“What we’ve seen with the fans is that, yes, there was confusion, but they quickly understood our identity, really.”

RB F1: Identity, Youth, and Red Bull Spirit

“In fact, many people, especially the younger ones, call us Visa Cash App RB, and it’s quite straightforward to understand. There’s ‘VCARB’, and there’s our company name, which is Racing Bulls.”

“The name Racing Bulls is actually part of the Red Bull philosophy; they have the ‘Flying Bulls’ [aerobatics team] where Mr. Mateschitz had his planes.”

“It seems to be the logical consequence. Racing Bulls is the name of our company in Italy. We discussed the various options and thought that it was a bit long – Visa Cash App Racing Bulls Formula 1 team – you would be tired of writing all that!”

“So, that’s where the idea of shortening Racing Bulls to ‘RB’, and making it a chassis name that simply remains a kind of historical element we want to perpetuate, came from.”

“Those of you who have children might have had to choose a name for them. Many people will then tell you: ‘Oh my God, how could you come up with that name?’, while others will say: ‘That’s a fantastic name!'”

The team’s identity needs rebuilding, but Bayer has a plan: to make RB F1 a cool and youthful team, in line with Red Bull’s early years.

“We plan to recapture what is probably the original spirit of Red Bull, by reinforcing that in this team, adding a bit of music too, like at the car launch.”

RB F1: Racing, Entertainment, and Partnership

“We want to race, obviously, and we want to be very serious and focused on racing. But at the same time, we want this team to be entertaining, we want to democratize the sport through partnerships by inviting fans who can’t come to the circuit, perhaps because it’s not affordable.”

“We want to organize events downtown, for example, and we have some ideas for the Grands Prix in the USA that will come up – we’re thinking about inviting big musicians. So, it’s this combination of on-track performance and off-track entertainment, as well as the Red Bull spirit, that we want to offer to fans.”

A fantastic problem to have for Laurent Mekies

Laurent Mekies, in charge of the sporting side at RB F1, also doesn’t think the team’s complex name is a problem.

Or rather, it’s a luxury problem.

“It’s a fantastic problem to solve…”

“A few years ago, we would have dreamed of having Visa or Cash App in the sport. We were dying to find such a global company that would think our sport is the right platform to invest in.”

“Then they came to F1, they chose us.”

“It’s a very, very good problem. It gives us a lot more responsibilities. And yes, it poses some challenges in terms of how to organize everything. But what a beautiful situation!”

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