The Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri Formula One (F1) team has been rebranded for the 2024 season, much to the dismay of fans. Visa has teamed up with Red Bull Racing in its first new global sports sponsorship agreement in 15 years.
Visa has taken over the title sponsorship of Red Bull's second team, which has been called Scuderia AlphaTauri since 2020. The second team includes Aussie driver Daniel Ricciardo, meaning he will race in the colours of Visa Cash App RB next season.
NEW DETAILS: Daniel Ricciardo apology that rejuvenated F1 career
'MEGA DRIVE': Oscar Piastri hailed for Las Vegas Grand Prix drive
The rebrand is the second in F1 for the upcoming season after the team formerly known as Alfa Romeo changed its name to Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber after a recent sponsorship deal. Visa's deal with Red Bull is for three years and although admitting it was a mouthful of a name, Visa's Andrea Fairchild says it creates an opportunity for fans to come up with a shorter name as a way to casually refer to the team.
"The best way to explain it is we had an opportunity, as we do with all of our global clients, specifically with Cash App in the United States, in teaming up with Red Bull," Fairchild said. "It is a mouthful but it was a way that we could showcase one of our key clients. There wasn't a way to shorten it after bringing those two things together.
"The fans will certainly decide how they reference it," she continued. "It is our formal name that we've introduced to the marketplace. We certainly are capturing all the brands involved and this complex equation, but we'll listen to the feedback and I'm certain we'll pick up on some really interesting nuances and I think the fans will have some fun with it."
The Visa logo will be displayed on all of Red Bull's F1 properties. This includes the cars of three-time champion Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez as well as on the Visa Cash App RB entry in the F1 Academy.
Fans unhappy with Red Bull Racing name change
But fans and pundits are far from impressed by the move to rename the team. Sky Sports' Craig Slater said the new name makes the team a laughing stock, and couldn't help but make a few jokes himself.
"If they get really fast and hit top speed on a straight, they would hit the Visa Limit," Slater said. "And how about this, If Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda go through an entire season without having a crash it would be Visa Contactless."
Edd Straw of The Race said the name was "the worst team name in F1 history". The F1 journalist said the decision is an embarrassment to Red Bull and F1 as a whole.
"Not only does it sound fatuous, but it also showcases an avaricious lack of imagination that can only be spirit-sapping for those working for the team and signal to the hundreds of millions watching that this is not a competitor to be taken seriously," Straw wrote. "The disconnected way the name, which the team has now confirmed, has gradually dribbled out also raises big questions about the strategy.
"It’s hard to imagine Dietrich Mateschitz allowing this to happen were he still around, which is telling in itself given Red Bull was built on its astonishing capacity for imaginative marketing strategies."
im going to need daniel ricciardo to speak up now about the team name change
i need to hear him make the jokes we all know he’s thinking about
— jess (@jessghxst) January 24, 2024
Visa Cash App Red Bull Formula One team….really rolls off the tongue 👀 pic.twitter.com/D5O3FKbuON
— Toribop (Gen 1) (@toribop) January 24, 2024
Just use VCARB
— JeffyGamesNL (@jeffy_nl) January 24, 2024
Imagine being a fan of “Visa CashApp Red Bull” team 💀
What a ridiculous name 😂 pic.twitter.com/kZ7SHTwDkO
— Eloy - F1 Fan Page 🏁 (@F1_Eloy) January 24, 2024
- with AAP
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.