Red Bull Racing teams up with surprising Aussie partner


Oracle Red Bull Racing, the leading Formula One (F1) team, has partnered with Australian e-commerce giant Rokt to find female “ethletes”.
Oracle Red Bull Racing’s team principal Christian Horner and Rokt’s Bruce Buchanan. Image source: Supplied

Oracle Red Bull Racing, home to F1 favourites Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and once again, Daniel Ricciardo (albeit in a reserve capacity), has partnered with Australian e-commerce giant Rokt on a slew of initiatives to foster more diversity in F1 racing.

Rokt, founded by ex-Jetstar boss Bruce Buchanan in 2013, will work with Red Bull Racing initially to launch a recruitment drive for female “ethletes” (e-sports athletes) to join Red Bull’s e-sports team. Rokt will also become the title partner of Oracle Red Bull Racing’s event celebrating International Women in Engineering Day on June 23, 2023.

Buchanan says both companies are innovative, disruptive, mission-driven companies with a commitment to diversity and sustainability.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the Oracle Red Bull Racing team and align on our mission to unleash possibility, develop the careers of talented female ethletes and empower women in sports, engineering, ecommerce and other fields across the globe,” Buchanan says.

“Oracle Red Bull Racing is also making history this year by launching its F1 car here in the US—the first time any team has launched its car in the States—and the timing of this event makes our partnership even more exciting.” 

Christian Horner, team principal of Oracle Red Bull Racing, says the recruitment program – which will be virtual – will help bring a diverse workforce into the simulated racing world.

The partnership is timely given the rapid growth of the e-sports market. Last year, Forbes research showed the top ten most valuable e-sports companies were worth a combined US$3.5 billion – up 46% from 2020.

According to Statista, revenue in the e-sports market was predicted to reach US$1.6 billion by 2023 and US$2.2 billion by 2027 (growing at a CAGR of 8.31%). Unsurprisingly, the market’s largest segment is sponsorship and advertising, data shows.

Oracle and Red Bull joined forces in 2022 after Oracle’s cloud data helped Red Bull make critical race decisions, and ultimately lead its driver Max Verstappen to a win in the 2021 Drivers’ Championship. The partnership culminated in a new unified team and car name.

Rokt, which was last valued at US$2.4 billion (AU$3.6 billion), is reportedly planning to float on the NASDAQ in late 2023.

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