Formula One overturns 40-year ban on gambling partnerships, signs deal with ISG

Formula One has overturned a near 40-year ban on gambling partnerships, as new owners Liberty Media open a potential goldmine in untapped revenue.

Today, Liberty Media announced it has signed a new marketing partnership with Interregional Sports Group, an agency which will sell F1 sponsorship rights to gambling firms.

The five-year deal is thought to worth more than $100m (€85m), and will allow F1 to develop official in-play betting markets during grands prix.

The deal marks the first time in almost 40 years that betting firms will be permitted to have a sponsorship presence in F1, ending a blanket ban enforced by previous owner Bernie Ecclestone.

In January last year, US-based Liberty Media bought out Ecclestone’s F1 empire for a reported fee of $8bn, and has since been bullish about carving open new revenue streams.

Under new regulations, gambling sponsors will be permitted to have brand exposure on trackside electronic billboards and on-screen graphics during televised races.

The move comes after the NFL reversed its own ban on gambling sponsors earlier this year, leading to the NFL’s first ever Official Casino Partnership, announced this month, between Dallas Cowboys and WinStar World.

Click here for an exclusive an analysis of Formula One and Formula E partnerships from Sports Sponsorship Insider.