Two of the manufacturer-backed F1 teams have received a boost of income from sponsors, with one sponsor increasing its spend and another returning to F1 after a few years on the sidelines.
Renault announced yesterday that it has increased its involvement with BP, following on from news of its partnership with insurance firm MAPFRE. Meanwhile Mercedes finally announced its new clothing supplier deal with Tommy Hilfiger, which has been an open secret in the F1 paddock for some time.
The company previously sponsored Ferrari in the Schumacher era of the 1990s (above).
The Hilfiger deal, worth between £3m and £5m a year according to F1 commercial sources, is interesting as the word is that it has an extended association with Lewis Hamilton.
The world champion spoke last season about having lots of new plans and initiatives in the pipeline, which he said he was excited about and something around clothing and apparel has been widely rumoured for some time.
Mercedes cleared the way for the Hilfiger deal by ending its association with Hugo Boss, which had come across to the Silver Arrows team after decades as a partner of McLaren.
They are now in Formula E.
Renault has a long history with Elf and more recently Total, but the BP deal, which also includes Castrol, began last season and has been extended for at last five more years, according to yesterday’s announcement.
It also goes beyond F1 and according to the team, the partnership will “see the partners collaborate on the joint development of advanced mobility solutions and new technologies.”
BP announced record profits today of £4.4 billion for 2017, a four fold increase, partly due to a rise in the price of oil.
However, according to the Financial Times, BP had a further $3.18bn hit as part of more than $65bn (£46.5bn) total paid out in fines and compensation relating to the Gulf of Mexico spillage.
The sponsorship market in F1 remains challenging, with many other ways for brands to spend their marketing dollars. However, F1 remains a unique prospect for brands that wish to reach a truly global audience, as few sports can match its reach in key markets like Asia, North and South America and Europe.
The teams as well as the F1 management group, are also developing more sophisticated ways of giving sponsors value for money, using social media and digital marketing tools.
This will become increasingly important as F1 disappears behind a paywall on TV. This year Italy has followed Spain in going behind a paywall and the UK will follow in 2019. France bucked the trend with a new partial outlet on free to air TV, alongside the payTV offering on Canal Plus.
The F1 marketeers are also able to segment the audience more effectively today than in the past, thanks to digital tools and F1 has put a big emphasis on reaching key segments of the audience and in pushing into China and the US markets where they believe there is more growth. A second race in the USA is widely tipped to be announced later this year, possibly in Miami or another US ‘destination’ city.
All photos: LAT Images
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