Partypoker and McLaren Racing struck up a partnership in 2021 and, as Executive Director Nick Martin said in a recent interview, it’s spawned some interesting innovations over the last two years.
Collaborations between online poker operators and sports teams have been happening ever since the Moneymaker boom but racing companies were rarely part of the mix. That changed a few years ago when Partypoker and PokerStars both linked up with Formula 1 teams.
PokerStars now has a relationship with Red Bull, while Partypoker has been working with McLaren Racing on a variety of projects over the last two years. The McLaren Turbo Series on Partypoker has been one of the biggest consumer-facing innovations so far, but, as Martin explained, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.
Partypoker and McLaren put women in the driving seat
McLaren Racing was the first Formula 1 team to join Instagram and TikTok. It’s this desire to embrace digital media that has solidified the company’s relationship with Partypoker.
“We work to maximize visibility for partners across our most valuable inventory, which is our cars and our drivers. That’s why McLaren has led the way in F1 on digital and social,” Martin said on the Partypoker blog.
This digital strategy is more than a commercial venture for McLaren and Partypoker. Martin described it as a meeting of minds between two CEOs at the top of their respective games.
“We hosted a fireside chat with Zak Brown (CEO, McLaren Racing) and Jette Nygaard-Andersen (CEO, Entain PLC), putting two like-minded leaders together to talk about their role as CEOs and their approach to leadership. This was a piece of content that catered to not only a business audience but also a broader audience where again, we are always looking for ways to engage our sizable fan bases,” Martin continued.
Perhaps the most interesting insight from Martin’s interview on Partypoker’s blog is the pairing’s female-focused innovation. Known as Returnship, the scheme helps women return to work in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) roles.
As well as support following an extended period out of work, Returnship gives women the chance to take on executive roles at Entain (Partypoker’s parent company) or McLaren Racing. This drive to get more women into the online gambling industry complements the work organizations such as the WPT are doing to create female-friendly poker tournaments.
Unlikely partnerships return positive results
Poker and Formula 1 racing might not have been natural partners when Partypoker first started working with McLaren. However, all of the recent partnerships, including the one between Partypoker and McLaren, have yielded positive results for players and poker operators.
In fact, the links between racing and poker will become even stronger in November when the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix gets underway. Formula 1 struck a deal with Sin City lawmakers to host a unique race that will take place on the roads around Vegas, including part of the famous strip.
Poker companies with links to Formula 1 have been running Vegas Grand Prix promotions since the start of 2023. These campaigns, combined with the work Partypoker has been doing behind the scenes with McLaren, shows how two seemingly disconnected industries can thrive when they work together.