Tag Archives: Johnnie Walker

Formula One: Premium partners flock to Force India

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Judging by additional branding adorning the VJM10 and partnership announcements in the off season,  plaudits surrounding Sahara Force India’s forth place finish in the 2016 Formula One Constructors Championship have extended far beyond the commentators and fans.

With an increasing number of leading teams in Formula One struggling to secure new partners Force India are bucking the trend. The teams ability to attract new partners can be attributed in part to their success on track, but perhaps of more relevance, the way in which the success has been achieved. It is a well known fact the Force India operate on a significantly lower budget than the majority of other teams on the grid. Rather than complaining about a lack of finances, the team focus there efforts on maximising what they do have. The ratio of investment to performance gain and as a consequence exposure gain is far higher with Force India than with any other team on the grid. No doubt the marketing team of the Silverstone based team use this information as a key factor in presenting to new partners. The approach is paying off!

Diageo, have upgraded their relationship with Force India, increasing branding space and influence on the 2017 livery and shifting the brand they are seeking to promote through the partnership from mass market offering Smirnoff, to premium brand Johnnie Walker.

Innovative premium watch brand Felio Siby have extended their partnership with Force India for a second year, with promises of unique brand activation events through the season.

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Hype Energy Drink have expanded their partnership within the sport for the third season in succession. With increased branding on the VJM1o in premium exposure positions.

New clothing partner Farah have joined the team, supplying a unique range of travel wear and fan range to be launched later in the season.

Eye Respect – LDNR eyewear join Force India as the official sunglasses / eyewear partner for the team, taking brand positioning on the wing mirrors of the VJM10

Forex Trading partner FXTM also join the team with branding on the rear sidepod of the car. As forex trading moves into the mainstream Force India have done well to secure a leader in the sector.

With online gambling partner W88.com and digital technology partner Orangebus also joining the team, the Force India marketing team should be more than satisfied with an impressive winter work rate!

Another interesting component of the partnerships Force India have established ahead of the 2017 season is the amount of deals which are customer facing. Increasingly partnerships within Formula One are focused on business to business relationship building or hosting high net worth individuals. Force India are establishing partnerships which incorporate a consumer facing offering. They are achieving this whilst also introducing partners with aspirational product offerings.

Formula One: Catch an Uber with Mika Häkkinen TODAY

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Two time Formula 1 World Drivers’ Champion Mika Häkkinen, will today be offering Uber users the chance of a ride with him to promote Join the Pact, Johnnie Walker’s global responsible drinking campaign.

Ahead of the Hockenheim Grand Prix, Mika Häkkinen will be available as a driver on the
Uber app. On 26 July he will drive the streets of Berlin and personally urge all Berliners to
Join the Pact to never drink and drive. Thanks to the partnership with Johnnie Walker, the
world’s leading Scotch Whisky brand, and Uber, everyone on the app will have the chance
to have Mika Häkkinen pick them up as their very own driver. Additionally, all new customers signing up to Uber in Germany will be offered a €20 credit when they use the

As well as the opportunity of a lifetime to win a ride with F1 legend Mika Häkkinen, Johnnie Walker is pledging to deliver 1km of free rides home for every pledge received to Join the Pact. This is part of its global commitment to deliver 5,000,000 kms of safe rides home

“I am delighted to be in Berlin with Johnnie Walker to promote the importance of never
drinking and driving ahead of the Hockenheim grand prix this weekend. I’m hoping we’ll get a great response from Berliners and deliver tens of thousands of pledges to Join the Pact to never drink and drive. I’ll be playing my part as an Uber driver – making sure Berliners get a safe rides home.”

Karin Campos, Corporate Relations Director Germany said:

“Since 2006 Johnnie Walker is committed to creating a safe environment for everyone to enjoy themselves responsibly and getting home safely is part of this. With our Join the Pact activation in Berlin together with Mika Häkkinen, our global responsible drinking ambassador, and the additional Uber partnership we follow on from our global goal to get 5
million commitments to Join the pact and never drink and drive by 2018.”

Mika Häkkinen has visited more than 40 countries with this programme and has secured
over 1 million signatures to Join the Pact.

You can follow Mika’s Uber Experience through these links:

Dressed like machines live stream with Mika in Uber 13.15 – 13.35

https://www.facebook.com/DressedLikeMachines/?fref=ts

Johnnie Walker Facebook Germany live stream with Mika in Uber 13.45 – 14.15

https://www.facebook.com/JohnnieWalkerDeutschland/

JWGP Comment: ” Getting Uber into F1 is the ambition of any self respecting sports agency working around the sport, this light touch approach through Diageo will be a neat experiment for Uber. hopefully it will lead to a much broader involvement in 2017″

GET INVOLVED!!

Formula One: Monaco – A weekend for the fans?

Mclaren Honda partner, Johnnie Walker, have put together a tidy film showcasing the Monaco Grand Prix weekend. The film acts a neat conclusion to the race weekend which saw Fernando Alonso bring home his Mclaren Honda in a season best 5th place and Jenson Button securing further points for the team in 9th.  There is a growing sense of confidence around the Mclaren Honda team, as the points tally continues to increase, expectations are also on the rise. The team and drivers appear to be enjoying racing again.

This sense of enjoyment and appreciation for the sport comes across in this film, which sees both drivers wax lyrical about the Monaco experience from both a driver and fan perspective.

It is easy to perceive Monaco as a highly exclusive event, reserved for the rich and famous, in this film it is great to see more of the event from the fan perspective with Jenson reflecting on the number of fans you see watching from the hills surrounding the track alongside shots of how close fans can get to drivers over the weekend.  With the size of the safe haven of the paddock vastly reduced in Monaco, arguably fans have more access to their hero’s in Monaco than at any other race on the F1 Calender.

Of course Monaco remains the jewel in the crown of an F1 season and Johnnie Walker reflect this in the film but do so in a way to make the event feel more accessible than I have seen it in the past.

For more on Johnnie Walker Click here to follow them on Social Media

Click here to follow Mclaren Honda on Twitter

Formula One: Opinion – One too many?

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As  Formula One prepares for the Brazilian Grand Prix a story that won’t go away is that of the Sahara Force India F1 Team rebranding as the Aston Martin Racing F1 Team with extensive, possibly title sponsorship, from Johnnie Walker in 2016.

To the dreamy eyed motorsport fan, myself included, the prospect of seeing the Aston Martin name in Formula One is fantastic. That being said the performance objectives Aston Martin may have for the partnership will have to be kept in check. The Silverstone based team have achieved great things on a limited budget for a number of years, but realistically making further steps up the grid will not happen overnight, even if the team were to receive sizable capital investment any plan for the Aston Martin brand to win in Formula One would have to form part of a longer term commitment. Will the Aston Martin marketers be satisfied with an image of the plucky underdog?

Beyond a possible team rebrand, the suggested commercial deals also raise a number of questions. The Force India team was originally intended to act as a platform for Vijay Mallya to promote, in addition to his airline, United Breweries and United Spirits (UBUS) through the brands Kingfisher, Whyte and Mackay, and Royal Challenge. Following the economic challenges Vijay Mallya and his companies have faced in recent years, ownership of the UBUS companies has exchanged hands. Initially Diageo (parent company of Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff) bought a sizable shareholding in the UBUS business. This change in ownership was reflected in the Force India livery with the addition of Smirnoff branding on the car. However, earlier this year as part of a consolidation strategy Diageo sold its shares in the UBUS business to Heineken. With Diageo’s Smirnoff remaining on the car alongside Kingfisher and Royal Challenge, this in effect means that the Force India team carries branding for two of the world’s largest alcohol companies. A situation that is unlikely to continue into the 2016 season irrespective of any Aston Martin rebrand.

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Further mudding the water, or wine, is the recently extended agreement Force India have with the Mexican wine producer Cavell’s. Whilst it can be argued that wine, spirits, and beer are not direct competitors they ultimately target the same consumers. Since signing Sergio Perez Force India have devoted their marketing efforts to developing a substantial Mexican sponsorship portfolio, significantly beyond partnerships brokered through the Slim family (Telmex) This strategic focus on Mexico again leads me to question the likelihood of an Aston Martin rebrand with Johnnie Walker. The team won’t look to terminate commercial sponsorships, but do all these deals meet with the branding demands Aston Martin may place on the team?

One possible theory around the Johnnie Walker rumours could in fact be team ownership. Vijay Mallya’s financial troubles have been long and well reported, it is possible he agreed to offer a silent shareholding in the team to Diageo when they first bought into the UBUS business? Diageo shareholding in the team would explain any desire to consolidate existing F1 partnerships into a single team and bring Aston Martin to the party as a premium brand to support a premium product in Johnnie Walker.

Vijay Mallya’s comments over the Mexican GP weekend that the Force India name has served its purpose and perhaps the time is right to change is sound, with the now Heineken owned Kingfisher and Royal Challenge likely to fall off livery in 2016 and Roy Sahara’s difficulties not reaching any conclusion in the near future beyond Vijay Mallya himself there is very little Indian influence left in the team.

One thing is for sure the Silverstone based team will look different in 2016, will they “Keep Walking” with Johnnie Walker and Aston Martin? Time will tell, but as ever with these stories there is much to this than a paint job and a few stickers.