Swiss Federal Gambling Commission takes action against Sauber F1 over use of Stake name and branding — Swiss media

Close up of the Stake F1 Team C44 car
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Co-Author: Chiara Martin

Sauber F1 team will encounter some issues with its rebrand and will switch between two different names throughout the campaign.

Team Principal Alessandro Alunni Bravi has confirmed that the outfit will alternate between the names Stake and Kick.

Stake ran a special livery at the Belgian Grand Prix last year, using the company’s sister brand Kick’s logos. Kick was also on the cars in Australia, Spain and Qatar.

Alunni Bravi is convinced that the partnership with Stake will be overall very beneficial despite the hurdles they face: “Stake is one of the world’s leading entertainment brands. The company will help us reach a new audience and expand our fan base.

In addition to a lot of money and new fans, the new main sponsor is also a source of many problems. The reason is that there are big restrictions on gambling advertising in several countries where races take place. Alunni Bravi says: “As we did last year, we will comply with all applicable laws. And if Stake is banned, we will have an alternative team name. Depending on the country, we will work with Stake or Kick, another sponsor.

This means that in certain countries, all Stake logos on the racing cars, team members’ clothing, and trucks must be covered or replaced, probably with the “Kick” logo.

In these countries, the racing team from Hinwil will not compete under the team name Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber but under a different name.

For legal expert Patrick Krauskopf, it is obvious that Sauber is probably in breach of the advertising ban: “Sponsorship would be permitted. 

“In this case, however, the Stake and Sauber brands are so closely linked, or the term Stake is so intensely imprinted in the minds of spectators, that we have probably crossed the red line into unauthorised advertising,” says Krauskopf, who works as a professor of competition law at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences.

Photo Credit: Sauber

The Swiss Federal Gambling Commission is also taking action. It has allegedly opened proceedings against Sauber, as confirmed by Swiss oultet SRF

A fine of up to 500,000 Swiss francs is on the table. Sauber’s reaction to this is calm: “We always comply with all applicable laws, including in Switzerland. 

“And, of course, we have taken all measures to comply with them,” says Bravi.

The 2024 season is destined to be a battle for Sauber both on and off the race track.

The team’s new identity will run for two seasons prior to Audi joining the sport and taking full control of the Sauber outfit in 2026.

Alunni Bravi said at the launch of the new C44 car on Monday that that the departure of Alfa Romeo has allowed the team to be much more flexible with marketing.

“This year, of course, for us it’s easier: we have a new and clear identity,” he added.

“We start here with an event that I think is a testament to what we want to do with a new motto for the team, ‘unleashed’, that for us means really the way we want to communicate, the way we want to be perceived.

“An F1 team is not just a racing team. Of course, it’s a large operation. We need to work on all the areas, on track, off track, on the technical side, and also on the commercial side. And with Stake, I think we will achieve important targets that will also bring added value to F1.”