Guest blog by Thiemo Albers-Daly
W Series team CortDAO has launched its first-ever series of NFTs – the proceeds of which will be invested back into W Series. The move heralds a new and ultra-modern approach to not only further sponsor a racing team but a motorsports Championship itself.
Founder Michael Livingston created CortDAO with the aim to build and establish a community-led platform that could authentically promote female races and women in general in motorsports. This began back in March of 2022 when the CortDAO team was unveiled as the team began to compete in the 2022 season of W Series. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, W Series is the world’s first free-to-enter single seater motor racing championship for women. It’s the reason you’ve heard of names like Jamie Chadwick, Emma Kimiläinen and Marta Garcia.
As a brand-new team to the W Series Championship, CortDAO have been looking at ways that they can develop their fanbase and engage with not just these fans, but the Web3 community and corporate sponsors that also believe in their mission.
This is where the NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have come into play.
Launched back on the 30th June, a total of 10,000 NFTs depicting two bespoke CortDAO Racing assets (5,000 NFTs of each design with a unique identifier from 1 to 5,000) have been issued. The two designs, created by Team Quantum Punks, are 3D virtual depictions of the limited-edition racing helmets of team drivers Marta Garcia and Fabienne Wohlwend.
“We have had many people wanting to assist in growing W Series and women’s racing and have tried to price our NFTs as affordable as possible to our fanbase. Our NFTs will bring fans closer to the action and allow them to feel a sense of pride as their money will go towards supporting women struggling to succeed in a male-dominated sport.” – Michael Livingston, Founder of CortDAO
One-third of the proceeds from the sale of the CortDAO NFTs will go towards sponsorship of the team, with the remaining two-thirds of the proceeds going to CortDAO’s investment in W Series Limited at the last traded price. CortDAO is looking to raise £1 million from this initial release. Then, in time, CortDAO will offer purchasers the opportunity to convert each NFT into a token.
“CortDAO will not receive any profits from the sale of its NFTs, so our intentions are genuine. The proceeds after costs will flow to W Series so that purchasers will be helping not only CortDAO and our brilliant drivers, Fabienne Wohlwend and Marta Garcia, but also the whole W Series.” – Michael Livingston
With CortDAO not making any profits from this venture and fully reinvesting the funds back into the sport and the team, it’s clear that Livingston is committed to growing both and isn’t simply in it for the publicity. Following this, it will be fascinating to see which other teams launch similar ventures in the hope of achieving the same results. As is often the case in motorsport, it takes one team or individual to try something new and innovate in order to succeed before others follow suit. In W Series, that appears to be CortDAO.
Hopefully, this will also encourage others – both inside the sport and out, as well as Formula 1 itself – to see the potential in W Series and do their part to see its continued evolution.
W Series was designed to give women more opportunities in motorsport, not just so that we could see another woman racing in F1 after such a long time but so that they could enter other forms of motorsport, such as WEC and IndyCar, at the highest levels too and inspire the next generation – just like Marta and Fabienne are.
This move also comes at a time when W Series is growing at a rate that is sure to put a smile on everyone’s faces with drivers from ten different countries competing and the last race in Silverstone attracting one million viewers in the UK alone – making it the most-watched motorsport event in the UK outside of F1 since 2014.
The CortDAO driver pairing of Marta Garcia and Fabienne Wohlwend have been building momentum so far in their 2022 campaign with both drivers making it into the top ten in four of the five races between them so far this season. Their best result came last time out at Silverstone in the UK where Wohlwend finished in 4th place. Both drivers will be keenly eyeing up the podium places in the next two rounds of the season in Le Castellet and Budapest ahead of the summer break.
Maybe these two will be the ones to finally beat current defending double W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick at her own game and make her work that bit harder for that third W Series title.
As mentioned above W Series will head to Le Castellet in France next before going to Budapest, Suzuka, Austin and Mexico City for a double header season finale.
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