Tag Archives: Sponsorship

Formula One: Ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Through the continued Starwood Hotels and Resorts partnership with the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, Lewis Hamilton recently filmed a new short film at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel in London to showcase Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) membership. As Lewis and the team prepare for the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi, Starwood Hotels and Resorts have shared behind the scenes images taken during the filming where we see Lewis, fresh from filming his Zoolander 2 cameo, is keen to get behind the camera.

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Ahead of the launch of the #TravelLikeLewis campaign on Thursday you can preview the finished film here:

Starwood Hotels and Resorts choosing Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team as ambassadors for SPG membership further demonstrates the value of F1 engagement and the sports  audience reach. It also goes to show a Formula One drivers job extends far beyond requirements at the track.

To see more from #TravelLikeLewis you can follow SPG on twitter by clicking here.

Formula One: Infiniti Red Bull Racing extends technology partnership with Siemens PLM Software to 2018

RBRBrazil

 

In a continued demonstration of their long-term commitment to Formula One Infiniti Red Bull Racing have announced the extension of their partnership with long standing technology partner Siemens for a further 3 years to 2018. Since the team’s inception in 2004, Siemens’ unrivalled NX™ software for digital product design and manufacturing has been integral to realizing the design vision for the car. As well as supplying the team’s primary design tool, Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software business also provides their industry-leading digital lifecycle management package, Teamcenter® software to manage the rapid and ever-changing workflows through the company from design to manufacture to track.

By using Siemens’ PLM software for design, manufacturing and workflow management as well as its ongoing support and services, the team have been able to achieve superior workflow handling, from the technical office right down to the assembly bays. With hundreds of new parts released for manufacture every week to keep the car development on track, design revision and bill-of-material management have become critical to the efficiency of the factory.
Team Principal, Christian Horner, said: “Siemens have provided a functional foundation for our design department for a number of years now, and their continued partnership has seen us take on more and more of their software to support our business processes. Managing the flow of design change through the company has become an increasing challenge as our capacity to innovate grows, and the PLM software has enabled us do this more effectively. This is another example of Infiniti Red Bull Racing seeking expertise from a class-leading supplier to help us improve our operation.”
Siemens PLM Software, VP EMEA Marketing, Neil Dunsmuir, said: “Infiniti Red Bull Racing continues to represent an ideal partner for Siemens PLM Software; continuously pushing our software’s capabilities in an effort to improve their on-track performance, the team consistently drives to achieve the highest levels of innovation. The partnership, in turn, serves as a unique technical showcase to customers and prospects, and supplies invaluable data and metrics for the development of our PLM solutions for other industries.”

Formula One: Exclusive – Jordan’s F1 Dream

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As Manor Marussia F1 Team development driver Jordan King returned to Europe to prepare for the Bahrain & Abu Dhabi rounds of the GP2 season with Racing Engineering , he took some time out to review his experiences of the 2015 season and discuss his prospects for the future.

Jon Wilde (JW): Hi Jordan thanks for your time today, let’s kicks off with what you’ve been up to over the past month or so, How did you find your time with the Manor Marussia Team in Austin & Mexico?

Jordan King (JK): Austin was a great experience; I attended all the briefings and observed on the pit wall obviously there was a lot to take on board for the first week so it was nice to do a second straight after as I knew a bit more about what was coming.

JW: With the rained off qualifying and condensed Sunday schedule. What was the atmosphere with the team like over the weekend in Austin?

JK: The atmosphere was great, it was strange to be at the race circuit working with a team but not have the stresses of driving, but as I say that the race was very stressful as obviously you want the best for the Manor cars and one crashed out and then we were close to getting points so I was getting very into the race and very stressed myself.

JW: How have you found your season in GP2 so far? What’s been the highlight? How have you found having Alex Rossi as your team mate?

JK: GP2 has been amazing this year! It really has been a childhood dream for me to race in the series so I do feel like I have come a long way in my career but there is still a long way to go. My highlights have been the first race coming from last under safety car to finish 4th and finishing 2nd in Spa, although I was a bit annoyed as I wanted, and could have won! Having Alex as my team mate has been great he is incredibly experienced so has had a lot to offer the team and has helped my development and understanding as well.

JW: What are your expectations for the final rounds of the GP2 calendar in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi?

JK: I would really like to get a few more podiums which I know are manageable. Moreover I want those podiums to be in the feature race not just the sprint.

JW: What plans do you have for 2016? Do you expect to stay with Racing Engineering and GP2? Can we expect to see you behind the wheel of a Manor F1 car in testing or free practice sessions?

JK: I am planning to stay in GP2 and that will more than likely be with Racing Engineering I don’t see any reason to move and I’ll be doing all 3 days with them in Abu Dhabi testing to work on next year.

I am working towards getting in an F1 car but you know how this world works it is very hard!

JW: Are you still targeting to be on the F1 grid for 2017? Is F1 still your key focus?

JK: Yes. 100%!

JW: Has the Manor Mercedes partnership had any impact on your plans?

JK: no, not that I am aware of anyway.

JW: You’ve had some great sponsors supporting your career, how important do you think it is for a driver to focus on developing commercial deals as well as developing skills on track?

JK: I think it is just as important as any part of driving as the model of Motorsport at the moment is you need to bring commercial partners with you so without them the results don’t count and without results the commercial partners don’t come, so it’s a catch 22.

JW: Is your father still involved in the Manor management structure? After the difficulties of last season the team seem to have been able to bring stability and finally build towards a competitive future, what changes have you seen in the team since joining?

JK: He helped get the team back on their feet but has really taken a back step since then and started other work. As for the team they are making steps, small steps but steps and it does look like they are heading in the right direction long term.

JW: What advice would you offer to anyone trying to get into Motorsport today?

Go for it 100%! I have loved every minute of it, it will be stressful and disheartening at times but keep trying and you will have a great time while living your dreams!

Thanks to Jordan for this fantastic insight into the world of a driver moving up through the development path. Congratulations on qualifying an excellent 5th on the grid for tomorrow’s  GP2 feature race in Bahrain , and we hope to see you behind the wheel of an F1 car very soon!

 

To follow Jordan on Twitter click here.

Formula One: #placesalonsowouldratherbe how Hilton not F1 got it wrong.

 

#placesalonsowouldratherbe

 

F1 news over the past 48 hours has been dominated with journalists commenting on how Formula One Management should wake up to social media and could have capitalised on the viral event that was #placesalonsowouldratherbe. In many respects the comments are correct; the viral event demonstrated that there is a quick thinking well humoured proportion of the F1 community with impressive photo editing skills. To have this level of engagement is something Formula One Management should be proud of and embrace. Perhaps, for example, through a 3 part competition run by sponsor Tata Communications (@tata_comm) evaluating the graphical content and future broadcast plans for the sport.

Putting the viral event into perspective, #placesalonsowouldratherbe saw 14,500 imprints on twitter; this is less than 15% of the total number of imprints from #BrazilGP, the event specific naming convention used by the Formula One twitter feed. Taking this a step further the Formula One Qualifying broadcast will likely have been seen by an audience of at least 20,000,000 people (a very conservative number even taking into consideration the current decline in F1 viewing figures) this would mean that 0.07% of the F1 audience participated in this viral event. Is this really an audience the Formula One Management Twitter feed should be seeking to capitalise on?

I’ve read a number of articles commenting that other sports or racing series do a far better job than Formula One on engaging with fans through social media, and whilst it can be argued that prior to the 2015 season this would be accurate it is no longer correct. The Formula One Twitter feed serves as an information point, providing exclusive pre and post-race content. It does not engage in conversation with followers, fans or teams, and why would it? Would it be an effective use of resources? I have read comments that Formula E and other racing series do a better job at engaging with their fan base through social media, on this point I disagree. The main twitter feed for Formula E operates in the same way as the Formula One feed. On occasion the individual maintaining the feed will acknowledge or respond to messages, but only in an informative style and this can only be achieved due to scale of the audience. The reputation Formula E has with respect to social media is borne out of the team and sponsor engagement.

Again some perspective @F1 has 1.68M followers on twitter, @FIAFormulaE has 76K followers on twitter. It is not realistic to expect Formula One Management to engage with fans in the same way Formula E can, the resource requirement is not realistic. @SauberF1Team has over 300K followers (the smallest of any F1 team) @AmlinAndretti has 13K followers (the most of any Formula E team) it is not realistic to expect the same level of engagement from teams in each series.

In my opinion, the #placesalonsowouldratherbe viral event served to demonstrate a failing not from @F1 but from that of @MclarenF1 and its sponsors. Many Formula One team sponsors have taken to live tweeting during on-track action, commenting on events as they unfold, commonplace with feeds such as Mobil’s @Grid1TV, or on the progress of their respective team or drivers seen with Force India F1 team sponsor @hypeenergy for example. I understand there are restrictions on the usage of team branding without agreement for fear or misrepresenting the team brand or ethos but imagine if the Hilton Group had taken the #placesalonsowouldratherbe viral event and placed Alonso in the lobby of their flagship hotel, or if they turned the hashtag into a discount code for online bookings.

For me the failing of the #placesalonsowouldratherbe viral was that sponsors did not react quickly enough. Perhaps it is time for the teams, not F1, to further adapt to social media. Give sponsors a freedom to engage in a way they believe their followers will respond.

 

 

As a side note, the image of Alonso used in this article, in every #placesalonsowouldratherbe tweet and subsequent article is the property of FOM. It was taken from their broadcast feed. FOM would be entirely within their rights to pursue copyright infringement cases for each use. The F1 of old may have taken this approach. F1 has is embracing social media.

Formula One: Tag Heuer partner Red Bull Racing for 2016

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Tag Heuer have this morning confirmed that they have entered into partnership with Red Bull Racing from 2016 onwards. At this time it has not been confirmed if this partnership will impact the existing Mclaren partnership with the Swiss Watch Maker.

In an interview with L’HEBDO, (documented below) CEO Jean- Claude Biver when questioned around the move commented

“yes, we  have Red Bull Racing F1  for next season. This is a young team, dynamic, go-getter, perfectly in keeping with the strategy of Tag Heuer”(translated)

Whilst no formal comment has been issued from Red Bull Racing it should be presumed that the existing Casio relationship will not be extended. The Tag Heuer partnership further demonstrates Red Bull’s commitment to Formula One.

12.11.2015_Itw M. Biver_L’Hebdo

Further updates on this development will be posted here as they become available.

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.

Formula One: Unifin join the Lotus F1 team + Qualifying Report

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Mexican Grand Prix - Practice Day - Mexico City, Mexico

Mexican Financial Services provider Unifin have joined the Lotus F1 team as Formula One returns to Mexico this weekend. Not unfamiliar to the F1 grid Unifin backed the Sauber F1 team during the 2012 season.

Follow this link to discover more about the services Unifin have to offer.

Lotus F1 Team Qualifying Report:

Romain Grosjean has qualified twelfth and Pastor Maldonado thirteenth for tomorrow’s Mexican Grand Prix. Both drivers missed out on the top ten decider with close lap times separating the field for a dry but cloud-bordered session.

Romain Grosjean, E23-04. Q: P12, 1:21.038. FP3: P13, 1:22.184
“We’re at a very high altitude, at a track with very low grip, requiring good downforce – which we know are not our strongest points – so we weren’t massively confident of our performance heading into qualifying. We did better than expected, even though we struggled to get the tyres to work. We still have a good opportunity tomorrow; it’s a long race where everyone’s brakes and engines are likely to struggle. The start will be very important; we’ll try to use all our experience and make a decent result happen.”

Pastor Maldonado, E23-03. Q: P13, 1:21.261. FP3: P12, 1:22.042        
“I was hoping for a little bit better from qualifying but we were struggling for front grip and the rear stability wasn’t fantastic. We expected more of a benefit from running with the new tyres but we weren’t able to unlock it. It’s a long race, we usually have good race pace so let’s go for some more points.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“There’s potential for exciting battles. We’re certainly targeting points.”

How was qualifying for the team?
It was a tricky session for us. The grip levels were changing with the temperature and the circuit seemed to get slower at the end of Q2. The trick was to be on a fast lap in the fast-slow-fast lap cycle when the track surface and temperature were at their best. We’re not a million miles away from where we expected to be in qualifying so we’re looking to maximise everything for the race.

What are the considerations for tomorrow’s race?
There’s a greater chance of rain than today which we’re very aware of as this can make for a very dynamic race. If it is dry then we can expect very low tyre degradation and close monitoring of the brakes. We should learn a lot tomorrow as the race unfolds and there’s potential for exciting battles through the field. We’re certainly targeting points.

Formula One: TORO ROSSO announce partnership with INTERPROTECCION

STR Inter
Scuderia Toro Rosso have announced a new partnership with Mexican insurance broker INTERPROTECCION. At the Mexican GP, the company logo will appear prominently on the headrest of both cars.
Franz Tost, Team Principal commented: “Even before the first Mexican Grand Prix in 23 years has taken place, it’s clear that this event is a great success and a tribute to the efforts of so many people from this country with a great Formula 1 tradition and heritage. Therefore it is particularly pleasing to have reached this agreement with Interproteccion. We welcome them to our team for this their home race and we hope to convert this into a long term relationship getting underway in 2016.”
 
Juan Ignacio Casanueva Perez, Inter’s chief executive, said: “We are really happy to be a partner of Scuderia Toro Rosso, as we share their unique philosophy of supporting young and highly-talented drivers like Carlos and Max. We are looking forward to enjoying this weekend with the team. Maybe this one-off arrangement for our home race here in Mexico can lead to more next year.”
Interproteccion has been established for over 35 years and is the market leader in insurance brokerage in Latin America. It has more than 4,000 corporate customers in over 150 countries.

Formula One: Mclaren-Honda confirm Hilton partnership extension to 2019

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McLaren-Honda today announced the extension of its corporate partnership with leading global hospitality company Hilton Worldwide by an additional year until the end of 2019. The renewal coincides with the 10th anniversary of the partnership, which began in the autumn of 2005, and will be marked by ‘Hilton.com – book direct’ sidepod branding on the McLaren-Honda MP4-30s at two strategically key races – the US Grand Prix, in Austin, Texas, starting this weekend, and the Mexican Grand Prix, which returns to the F1 calendar after a 23-year absence, in Mexico City.

Speaking about the new deal, Aligi Gardenghi, vice-president marketing, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Hilton Worldwide, said, “We are delighted to be extending our partnership with McLaren-Honda, providing the team with a home from home at the majority of race locations they travel to across our 4,440 hotels worldwide.

“It is through key partnerships like this that we continue to be able to offer our Hilton HHonors members exciting, authentic, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences which they can use their points to redeem through our Hilton HHonors auction site.”

McLaren Technology Group Chairman and CEO, Ron Dennis, added, “It’s extremely satisfying to see a global player such as Hilton underline its confidence and commitment to the McLaren brand by signing a renewal through until the end of 2019. That really emphasises the importance we place on nurturing and building long-term relationships with like-minded corporate partners.

“This is an exciting period of growth for the racing organisation, and this announcement clearly demonstrates the enduring appeal and longevity of McLaren. It is one of the sports world’s most enduring and iconic brands.”

OPINION: Hilton extending it’s partnership with Mclaren-Honda serves to underline the faith placed upon the relationship to deliver brand exposure which will only be achieved through improved performance. This announcement coupled with the recently confirmed Chandon partnership for 2016 demonstrate the underlying credibility of the Mclaren brand. 

Increased branding in countries of particular relevance to corporate partners is rapidly becoming the norm with across all teams, perhaps it is time for FOM and the FIA to review sporting regulations around freedoms in livery change during the season.