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Racing Into the Future: Polkadot and Conor Daly Revolutionize Sports Sponsorship

April 25, 2024 in Community, Polkadot
Avatarby Polkadot

Rev up your engagement with the Polkadot community through Conor Daly’s thrilling ambassadorship. Get insider access by subscribing to our newsletter and staying connected on social media for live updates and exclusive content.

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Breaking new ground in sports sponsorship, the Polkadot community has chosen race car dynamo Conor Daly as its brand ambassador for the Indianapolis 500. This decision, decided using Polkadot’s decentralized governance feature, marks the first time a major athlete’s sponsorship has been determined by a community vote using blockchain technology. 

What is Polkadot? A Closer Look

Launched in 2020 by Ethereum Co-Founder Gavin Wood, Polkadot is a digital platform engineered to be the powerful, secure core of Web3 — a foundational technology for a new internet that prioritizes privacy, openness, inclusivity, and financial accessibility. By providing powerful modular tools for developers, Polkadot has sparked the creation of never-before-seen applications for users from all walks of life, from gaming and metaverses to decentralized finance.

One of the defining features of Polkadot is its community governance model, which places power in the hands of its users. Through a feature known as OpenGov, holders of the Polkadot token, known as DOT, can participate in the decision-making process influencing the platform’s development and future direction. This democratic approach not only ensures that the platform remains adaptable and responsive to user needs but also aligns with the foundational principles of Web3 by supporting a decentralized and user-empowered structure.

Meet Conor Daly: Racing’s Versatile Powerhouse

American professional race car driver Conor Daly is celebrated for his skill and adaptability on the track, evidenced by his rare achievement of competing in both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 in the same year. In 2021, he led the most laps at the Indy 500, secured a podium finish, and proved himself a formidable competitor. Daly’s dynamism extends beyond the racetrack, where he engages with fans through reality TV appearances and as the host of the popular motorsports podcast, Speed Street.

“He’s fast, powerful, and adaptive–just like Polkadot,” says Polkadot community member Chris Wade (LearnPolkadot), who championed the proposal. 

From a Twitter DM to a Trailblazing Sponsorship

“It all started with a Twitter DM,” Chris Wade recalls. Driven by a bold vision but unsure of the outcome, I reached out to Conor Daly, setting the wheels in motion for what has been an incredible response from the Polkadot community." 

The subsequent proposal, OpenGov #514, received overwhelming support. With 95.8% approval, the community committed 290,000 DOT to cover the sponsorship fee and associated costs for Daly’s race team, securing the first-of-its-kind sports sponsorship.

Beyond Sponsorship: Driving Engagement and Innovation

Leveraging Conor’s robust fan base, the extensive viewership of the Indy 500, and the synergies between Daly’s dynamic racing style and Polkadot’s innovative technology, this sponsorship seeks to captivate a global audience. It aims to educate people about the potential of decentralized governance and Polkadot’s vision for a free and open web. Set to take place on May 26, 2024, the iconic Indianapolis 500 will serve as the launch pad for a dynamic year-long collaboration, which will continue through two additional race series: NASCAR Truck Series and Nitro RallyCross. Beyond the racetrack, Daly will participate in a series of interactive community events and digital initiatives throughout the year, designed to engage racing fans and introduce them to Polkadot’s innovative technology. 

Empowering Community Voices: A New Era of Inclusion

“The fact that thousands of individuals in the Polkadot community - not a corporate marketing team - used their voices to vote and select me as their ambassador is an incredible honor and reflective of the power of what a more free and open internet can look like in the future,” Conor Daly said, "Racing not just for a brand name or logo, but representing developers, investors, and regular people building tomorrow’s web, is both thrilling and overwhelming."

As Daly races the Polkadot-liveried car at the iconic Indianapolis 500, he symbolizes more than speed—he represents a future where technology and the real world converge. This race is not only about who crosses the finish line first, but about how innovation continues to redefine boundaries.

Meet Conor Daly at Consensus: Racing Meets Innovation in Austin

Join us at Consensus for a unique opportunity to meet racing star Conor Daly, face-to-face. Conor will be at the Polkadot booth, ready to greet fans and share insights about his thrilling experiences on the track and with Polkadot. Feel the adrenaline with Polkadot’s brand ambassador as he tests his piloting skill beyond the asphalt with Exiled Racers. Don’t miss the chance to see the Polkadot-branded Number 24 racing car at the Polkadot closing party–an incredible opportunity for  motorsports and blockchain enthusiasts alike.

Join the Future

Join us in shaping the future of a free and open internet. Stay up to date on Conor Daly’s ambassadorship activities for Polkadot by following @Polkadot and @ConorDaly22 on X and subscribing to the Polkadot newsletter.

If you’re attending Consensus, make sure to drop by our booth to meet Conor Daly in person, watch him test his gaming skills on Exiled Racers, and check out Conor’s Polkadot pink Number 24 racing car entry for Indy 500.

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