MONTREAL--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading global payments provider, Paysafe, today announced a significantly heightened focus in both the US and motor sport markets, as part of its ongoing global brand strategy aimed at exploiting the substantial growth opportunities it has identified in North America.
Following a successful partnership with Canadian rookie driver, Zach Claman De Melo (19), in a single Verizon IndyCar Series race last year, Paysafe will become the primary and naming sponsor to two of the sport’s up and coming drivers for the entire 2018 Indy car racing season. North America’s hugely popular Indy car open-wheel racing dates back over 100 years and is the fastest and most technologically advanced racing series in the continent.
Under the new deal, Paysafe will partner with Dale Coyne Racing to provide continued sponsorship to De Melo as its primary brand ambassador as well as extending its patronage to his Brazilian teammate, up and coming driver Pietro Fittipaldi (21). Fittipaldi is the grandson of two-time Formula 1 champion, Emerson Fittipaldi, one of the sport’s greats. The two drivers will take turns piloting the Paysafe car throughout the season.
This year, the Verizon IndyCar Series opens on March 11 in St Petersburg, Florida, and concludes in Sonoma, California, on September 16. De Melo will be the first of the pair to take the wheel of the Paysafe car in the first three road course races that includes the opening race in St. Petersburg on the 1.8-mile temporary circuit set up on city streets and a runway of Albert Whitted Airport.
With the support of his long-time sponsors and Escuderia Telmex, Fittipaldi will pilot the Paysafe car, starting with the first two oval events, and make his season debut at the Phoenix Grand Prix on April 7. He will attempt to qualify for the Series’ blue-ribbon event, the Indianapolis 500, which takes place on May 27. The Indianapolis 500 continues to be the single most attended sporting event in the world.
According to Oscar Nieboer, Paysafe’s Chief Marketing Officer, the decision to sign an extended race partnership this year reflects Paysafe’s intention to build its brand in the North American market and the ongoing mutual focus of both Paysafe and the Dale Coyne Racing team of ‘identifying and supporting emerging opportunities coupled with delivering performance at the highest level.’
“Indy car racing is extremely high profile in North America and this is a region where we see significant growth opportunities for our business. It makes strategic sense to build on our initial involvement in last year’s season, and make our full debut as a leading partner in the 2018 season. We very much see this partnership programme as a central component of our North American brand strategy,” said Nieboer.
“Zach and Pietro are both exceptional drivers and embody the very spirit that we believe defines Paysafe: a laser focus on performance at the highest level combined with a proven track record of speed, agility and safety. This makes them both fantastic brand ambassadors and we wish them every success in their respective races piloting the Paysafe car,” continued Nieboer.
Team Owner, Dale Coyne, added: “We are very pleased to have a leading global payments provider like Paysafe come on board to the exciting sport of Indy car racing as part of their North American expansion strategy. With Zach's and Pietro’s ever-growing skills, we look forward to a competitive 2018 for Paysafe."
Notes to editors:
Photos available upon request
Paysafe is a leading global provider of end-to-end payment solutions. Our core purpose is to enable businesses and consumers to connect and transact seamlessly through our industry-leading capabilities in payment processing, digital wallets and online cash solutions. Delivered through an integrated platform, our solutions are geared towards mobile-initiated transactions, real-time analytics and the convergence between bricks-and-mortar and online payments. With over 20 years of online payment experience, a combined transactional volume of US$48 billion in 2016 and over 2,600 staff located in 12 global locations, Paysafe connects businesses and consumers across 200 payment types in over 40 currencies around the world. For more information, visit: www.paysafe.com.
About Dale Coyne Racing
Dale Coyne Racing (DCR) is a Verizon IndyCar Series team based in Plainfield, IL, about 40 miles southwest of downtown Chicago. The team has participated in every season of the INDYCAR/Champ Car World Series since 1984. DCR earned its fifth IndyCar win with a victory at the season opening race in St. Petersburg, FL in 2017 with driver Sebastien Bourdais and also obtained its best Indianapolis 500 finish in 2017 with a third place by top finishing rookie, Ed Jones. Team Owner Dale Coyne is a true racer with a long history in racing. As an Indy car driver for five years, and a team owner since 1984, he has more than 30 years of experience in open-wheel racing and is known for taking on young drivers and mentoring them in the early stages of their careers. Coyne is a Midwestern entrepreneur who designed and built Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, IL. He and Tony George, along with International Speedway Corporation (ISC), expanded the facility by forming a partnership and building Chicagoland Speedway. Coyne served as president of the facility through its construction and opening season, and served on its management committee until its eventual buyout by ISC in 2007. Coyne has several other investments, including being the largest Sonny’s BBQ franchisee in the country.
About Zachary Claman De Melo
Zach began his campaign to reach the highest tiers of motorsports in 2006 (aged 8), when he was discovered by a group of professional drivers at the local go-karting track, and at age 12, Zach seized his first Canadian National Karting Championship. By 2015 (aged 16), Zach claimed two additional Canadian National Championships and made the jump to open-wheel racing in Europe’s Formula 3 MSV Cup, where he posted an undefeated record while only competing part-time. In 2016 (aged 17), Zach landed his first full-time open-wheel drive in the Verizon IndyCar Series' official feeder series, called Indy Lights, with the 2015 defending champions, Juncos Racing.
In 2017, Zach’s results drew the attention of Carlin Motorsports, the 2016 defending champions. Upon signing with Carlin for his sophomore season in Indy Lights, Zach earned his first Indy Lights race win, set 3 fastest laps, and delivered seven top 5 and thirteen top 10 finishes, and in just his second year in open-wheel racing, Zach exceeded the pace of his Indy Lights competitors with up to triple his experience.
In 2017, with Paysafe’s backing, Zach made his debut in Indy car racing by competing in the Sonoma race in September. At 19, he is one of the youngest drivers ever to have competed in the series.
About Pietro Fittipaldi
Grandson of the two-time Formula 1 World Champion and double Indy 500 winner, Emerson Fittipaldi, the Miami-born Brazilian quickly rose through the American karting ranks to become one of the brightest talents in junior racing. His driving skills soon took him to stock car racing, and at just 15 years old he became the first Latin American NASCAR champion in the Limited Late Model category.
The lure of continuing the Fittipaldi legacy in open-wheel racing inevitably took him to the UK in 2013 – an intensely competitive arena for honing a driver’s skills and a tried and tested route into Formula 1. Promising debut stints in the single-seater 2013 Formula Renault BARC and BRDC F4 Championships – including podiums and a race win – were made more impressive given the seamless transition from racing stock cars since 2010.
In 2014, Pietro Fittipaldi dominated the British Formula Renault Protyre championship and was named 2014 champion with the Silverstone final race still to go. Pietro also raced in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and tested in Formula Renault World Series 3.5.
In 2015, Pietro competed in the FIA European Formula 3, where he secured three rookie podiums, and raced in the MRF Challenge from October 2015 to January 2016, where he claimed the championship with one race to spare.
In 2017, Pietro won the World Series 3.5 V8 Championship, as well as broke the World Series Championship record for most pole positions with 10, a record that was previously tied between Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull F1) and Kevin Magnussen (Haas F1) who both scored 8 poles in one season.