Laura-Marie Geissler: NFTs instead of sponsoring! Racing driver is revolutionizing her sport

A conversation with Laura-Marie Geissler is many things, just not boring. The racing driver from Munich is 24 years old, but she has already mastered something that many have been denied for the rest of her life: A bird’s eye view. Geissler uses it to analyze society, her generation and her sport, motorsport – and draws her own conclusions, which she pursues with courage and a strong will.

Anyone who talks to Laura-Marie Geissler – currently the only driver in the Porsche Cup – will take their time. For Geissler, who studied neuronal psychology, not only do phrases like “Men are men—brutally impulsive and testosterone-controlled” (about their male competition on the racetrack). Or: “When in doubt, have your sponsor’s opinion” (about the conflict many athletes have between sponsorship contracts and their own attitude), but also runs the first purely NFT-funded racing team in the world together with the creative agency Amsterdam Berlin.

Laura-Marie Geissler wants to change the sports world: NFTs instead of sponsors

Geissler does without sponsors, instead fans can use the “LMG GT No. 1” project for 0.03 ETH (about $50 depending on the exchange rate) and buy one of 1,000 NFTs of their Porsche 718 Cayman GT4. Owners of these NFTs receive a number of incentives for this, but above all it is about promoting a paradigm shift in sports and creating alternatives to existing sports sponsorships. At races, the GT4 driver does not present countless sponsors. She wears white overalls and drives a racing car with “cosmetic surgery. The carwrap symbolizes the objectification of women in sports. Geissler says of the issue: “It’s not about the performance, it’s just about the optics.”

A cosmetic surgeon was involved in the design of the car, and typical beauty terms such as “slender”, “wider” or “lower” can be found on the car. The design is based on the Porsche 917/20 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1971 under the nickname “The Pink Pig” or simply “the pig”.

Laura-Marie Geissler shows the back side of the sponsorship system

The car was – and still is – called “The Pig” because of its pink paint and because the so-called “Butcher’s card” is drawn with dotted lines showing the different parts of the pig. A good 50 years later, Laura-Marie Geissler’s Cayman does not show the ham, but the sponsorship system in the sports world in good German and in authentic dark green – because “when you have an operation, you are painted on with a black marker that oxidizes on the skin and turns a little green” – Scar… sorry, the back.

She does not yet know if Laura-Marie Geissler will be able to finance her entire racing season through NFT sales. She gives many interviews, speaks on panels, introduces herself on Twitter, Twitch and so on. If the necessary sum is not raised (despite Porsche promoting young talent, there are still costs of between 150,000 and 250,000 euros per season), she will have to meet the costs personally – the 24-year-old has vouched for her with his signature . But she accepts the risk. If she were to miss a race for cost reasons, Geissler says, it would be “a shame, of course. But I realized with this project that there are so many more important things than being able to set the fastest possible lap or training a times more.”

Porsche 911 “a sense of childhood and freedom”

Laura-Marie Geissler regularly drives on the podium. But she, who has the gate shifter for a Ferrari 550 Maranello tattooed on her wrist and, in addition to her racing license, also has a license for helicopters and sports boats and an obsession with petrol engines, is not looking for big business in motorsport. . But purism and passion. How does she feel when she opens the hood of her private car, a 1971 Porsche 911? Laura-Marie Geissler says: “A sense of childhood and freedom.”

Read the article about Laura-Marie Geissler in the current issue of Sports Illustrated!

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