Peter Sauber, Ron Gouray, Kamui Kobayashi, Sergio Perez, Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber Chelsea Football Club sponsorship deal announcement, 2012

Sauber confirm sponsorship from football team Chelsea

2012 F1 season

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Sauber have confirmed a new sponsorship deal with English Premier League football club Chelsea.

The C31 will race with Chelsea logos from the next round of the world championship in Spain.

Team CEO Monisha Kaltenborn said: “A partnership like this between Formula One and Football has never existed before in this form, yet there are numerous commonalities and possible synergies.

“In either case we are talking about team sport at the highest – and international – level. The Sauber F1 Team and Chelsea FC are dealing with many of the same sporting and commercial topics and we want to strengthen each other in these areas. We are looking forward to exploiting these opportunities, and we congratulate Chelsea on making it to the final of the Champions League.”

Sauber dropped hints about the forthcoming deal by running the slogans “Out of the blue” and “True blue” on its cars’ engine covers in the last two races.

The deal will also see Sauber logos displayed on advertising boards at Chelsea’s stadium.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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68 comments on “Sauber confirm sponsorship from football team Chelsea”

    1. @pamphlet I guess the JetBlue thing was just a coincidence.

      1. Looks like it, unless they somehow also announce them as a sponsor.

        1. And jetBlue actualy has a ‘TRUE BLUE’ program and i really thought that was it…

          1. I imagine that if JetBlue were getting involved, then the decals would have gone straight onto the car without fussing around with cryptic statements. Chelsea, however, have unveiled their full sponsorship just ahead of the European races, when coverage will be at its highest.

          2. Wait, so why would their decals necessarily have gone straight on the car?

    2. Well, not everyone — Dimi Papadopoulos (@f1enigma on Twitter) has been saying it was Chelsea all along, and I kind of doubt it was just a lucky guess, although I suppose it could have been. (Another illustration of why it’s worth following him on Twitter, in my opinion.)

  1. I have absolutely no idea how I should be feeling about this. Should I be happy? Worried? What does this mean?

    1. Probably happy. Lots and lots of cash.

      1. Probably the best possible answer @pamphlet!

    2. probably ..diving?

      1. Only Drogba and Torres do that.

  2. I have to admit Peter Sauber is doing a fantastic job. There are no reasons to be worried but rather happy. I must say I like this kind of cross multi marketing bussines ventures thinking… It could bring some more interesting partnerships in the future – which is good for the sport of course.

  3. I like it – crosssportsnorship! How cool would the Lotuses look with a Boston Bruins logo?

    1. I’d personally be in favor of Red Bull Racing teaming up with the Chicago Bulls. They have more in common than just me being a fan, after all!

      1. @aka_robyn Tempting suggestion there :)

    2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      30th April 2012, 14:39

      Do you mean CATHERHAM? For the color livery and stripes I mean

      1. No he means Lotus for that reason. Black and gold/yellow.

        1. Either one would work : )

    3. Pato Milan
      1st May 2012, 5:16

      Agree I like the idea, it’s like sponsorception…
      A football team sponsored by a sponsor sponsoring an F1 team, while the y are also sponsored by the sponsor that sponsors the football team.

  4. Woo, amazing… I think. Actually, it can’t be as bad as Superleague Formula. No idea what the person that created that was taking at the time…

    1. I’m more interested to know what they were taking in 2011. As weird as the cocnept behind the series was, it was actually starting to make sense. Then they went ahead and made some changes that were as pointless as they were major, apparently modelling the series on A1GP. Unsurprisingly, the series went down the drain.

  5. … They couldn’t have done something about the livery? I know Mr. E doesn’t like it when teams change their designs mid-season, but even he has to admit that the dark grey is very unflattering and that the team could use a healthy injection of colour. Like blue.

    1. I reckon they should take a leaf out of @jezson ‘s book (perhaps adding more blue)…

      1. That was my favourite of the liveries he did I think.

  6. With now most of the sponsers having blue and red they should loose the black on the car

    1. @dutch-in-sweden – The problem is that Bernie doesn’t like it when teams change their liveries mid-season. He’s okay with it when it’s a major change, like when Spyker bought into Midland, or when elements of the design are changed, like the artsy Renault “Team Spirit” designs for races where tobacco sponsorship was banned. But he’ll frown upon a major change for the sake of it.

      Maybe there will be more blue in the future, if Chelsea stay with Sauber. But I can’t see them doing an overhaul this year.

      1. The black could be dark blue. Never understood the black when there own logo is red. Keith has shown some new leveries but the Sauber one still had black as a base. You can do a lot with blue colours and their sponsers have different blue colours.

        1. I still think you’ll find resistance to the idea.

          Also, those liveries Keith displayed were fan art.

        2. Well Sauber originally had an all black design before they found sponsorship from petronas and redbull in the mid 90’s, so I think unless they find a title sponsor they will stay with a blackish livery.

      2. @prisoner-monkeys I didn’t think anybody cared who finished in ‘9th or 10th’? According to Ecclestone at least…

  7. So , Petrov to Sauber when Perez goes?

    1. Why, because of Abramovich?

      It’s more likely that Esteban Gutierrez will join the team when an opening becomes available. Gutierrez is backed by Carlos Slim, and Slim has a much greater presence within the team than Abramovich does.

      1. Is Petrov actualy linked with Abramovich or the link is made up just because they are both russian? :)

        1. @pejte – I’m pretty sure he’s just making the connection because they’re Russian. Both Abramovich and Aleksandr Petrov have good relationships with Vladimir Putin, but if someone was trying to reserve a seat for Petrov at Sauber, then there are easier ways of doing it than getting Chelsea logos on the car, especially if they want a Russian driver in a (reasonably) competitive car for 2014 and the Russian Grand Prix.

          I think the only way Vitaly Petrov will join Sauber is if both Perez and Kobayashi go. Which wouldn’t actually be all that suprising; Perez is constantly named as a possible replacement for Felipe Massa, and Kamui Kobayashi hasn’t been delivering much in the way of results for a year now; you have to co back to Canada last year to find his last string of points finishes.

          1. I knew I could rely on you @prisoner-monkeys

      2. Spot on PM.

        1. and Kamui Kobayashi hasn’t been delivering much in the way of results for a year now; you have to co back to Canada last year to find his last string of points finishes.

          Wow, good point you’ve made PM. I remember Kobayashi merely scoring a few points an Abu Dhabi, Australia, and China – But I can’t believe he’s been so uncompetitive as of late; I think Perez constantly out-performing him as seriously buried his mentality.

  8. If that is the actual way they’ll present the logo on the car, they should be shot! How long did that take, 3 second to type out on MS Word… Put some effort it for god’s sake!

    1. Put some effort it for god’s sake!

      Sponsor logos are usually dictated be sponsors. The teams don’t get too much say in it, and the sponsors don’t like it if teams start fiddling with the design.

      The article also says that the car will carry Chelsea FC logos, which look like this. The “WELCOM CHELSEA FC” might be a promotional thing for the time being.

  9. I’m glad for Sauber from a funding perspective but it’s a pretty sad day when you see a sports team sponsoring another sports team. It shows how little football means to Chelsea, it’s more about the commercial side of things. Sports teams are the ones who need sponsorship to allow them to compete, if they’re making so much money they can afford to sponsor someone else it shows the funds aren’t being put into the team like they should be.

    1. I don’t know what the operating budget for a premiership football team is, but I can’t imagine that they would be paying Sauber a phenomenal amount of money for this. Certainly not as much as the likes of Claro are.

    2. I like Monisha.

  10. It’s a good effort getting Chelsea in the news today, when everyone’s on about the Manchester game tonight (including all the Aussie F1 drivers here and here!) and they’re interviewing a new England manager.

    There’ll be a few puzzled Chelsea fans wondering what the “Sauber F1 Team” is trying to sell. If the deal’s declared a success, I guess Tony Fernandes might do the same with Caterham and QPR (if they stay up). At least he has some cars to sell.

  11. Does this mean they’re about to sign a misunderstood Spaniard from a red team for a huge amount of money, just before he forgets how to do his job?

    We shouldn’t forget who owns Chelsea – Roman Abramovich. And next year the first Russian GP will be held at Sochi…

    1. @topdowntoedown

      And next year the first Russian GP will be held at Sochi

      The Russian Grand Prix won’t take place until 2014. And if the Intenational Olympic Committee think that construction of the circuit will interfere with preparations for the Olympic Games – since the race is being held at the Sochi Olympic Precinct – then they’ll delay it until 2015.

  12. What does this football team get out of this? o.0

    1. DRS for their players?

    2. Fans maybe? It’s kinda working already. I don’t follow football, partly because I’ve never felt a connection with any team. Now I suddenly want Chelsea to do well. If I was flicking channels and came across a Chelsea game, I might now give it a watch.

      Similar, I guess, to how I started paying attention to how well Queen’s Park Rangers were doing since the F1 connection.

      Still, won’t be buying any merchandise just yet.

  13. Ermmm aren’t football teams meant to get sponsors not be sponsors? This seems more like Roman Abramovich dipping his toes into F1 with a view to buying up Sauber.

    1. Interesting theory. When Peter Sauber managed to salvage the team for 2010 in the wake of BMW’s withdrawal and the QADBAK fiasco, it was rumoured he would only hold onto the team long enough to bring some stability back in and build up a bit of momentum. That was three years ago, and there is going to come a time where he has to re-retire. Monisha Kaltenborn has all but taken over from him, and no doubt she is looking to secure the future ownership of the team. Carlos Slim – who sponsors the team through Telmex, Claro and Telcel – was said to be looking at buying it up and rebranding the team under a Mexican banner, but so far nothing has come of it. Abramovich is certainly the kind of person who could help Sauber; he has connections to Gazprom Neft, the oil-producing sector of Gazprom, the largest company in the world. And Gazprom has dabbled in motorsports before – they backed Mikhail Aleshin in 2010 after Aleshin lost backing from the other big Russian oil company, Lukoil.

      That said, there’s only really tenuous connections of anything, so it’s difficult to predict what the next move might be.

      1. Russia own big chunk of Gazprom, so I’d imagine that means either Russian or German driver should be in that car to represent Gazprom’s interest. German is because with Baltic pipe, Germany have very big importance for Gazprom. Lukoil is the only really big private oil company in Russia.
        All of them of course are buddies with Abramovich, who him self owned Sibneft, but was forced to give it up for the benefit of Russia, which left him with 80bn fortune that he must use up to promote Russia around the world. A deal that Khodorkovski didn’t like, which led to collapse of Yukos(larges Russian Oil company at time) and him in prison.

        Or maybe Abramovich is just really eager to see Chelsea to become greatest FC in the world and he want’s all the promotion he can get :)

        1. All of them of course are buddies with Abramovich, who him self owned Sibneft, but was forced to give it up for the benefit of Russia, which left him with 80bn fortune that he must use up to promote Russia around the world.

          If Abramovich wanted to promote Russia through Formula 1, it would be easier to spend that money backing Caterham or Marussia rather than buying into Sauber. Alternatively, he could find a promising young Russian driver – like Sergey Sirotkin – and back his career; if Sirotkin maintains his current pace, he’s bound to end up in Formula 1 some day. The downside is that that day probably won’t be until 2015 or 2016, by which time the Russian Grand Prix will have already been established.

          If Abramovich wants to get involved in Formula 1, then this is probably a good way of doing it. He gives money to Sauber, and gets a little more coverage for Chelsea. If they improve, he can increase his investment and maybe stary buying into the team. If they don’t, then he can back out, having gotten his money’s worth in coverage.

      2. Does Kaltenborn take an operational role? I thought her job was CEO, more on the business side.

        1. @raymondu999 – She seems to be taking over more and more managerial tasks. I’m pretty sure Peter Sauber skipped the Chinese Grand Prix, and Kaltenborn filled in his role for the weekend. He will, after all, be 70 this year. Sooner or later, he’s going to have to retire, and he no doubt wants a successor in place before he does so (or, heaven forbid, he dies before he can retire). Kaltenborn appears to be that successor.

          1. Possibly. I don’t follow the “corporate” side of issues in F1 all that much.

            Mind you – passion knows no bounds though. You never know how long Peter Sauber will stay in the pitlane for!

  14. I don’t think it’s pedantic to point out that this is a partnership, not a sponsorship. It’s a lot less weird when you know it’s going both ways.

  15. Guardiola to manage HRT?

  16. I don’t care about football but delighted for Peter Sauber, hope the cash gives the team that extra push to stand out from the midfield teams.

  17. I don’t understand this deal, what does each side get from it.

    If it is just a partnership and no money is changing hands what are the real benefits apart from some advertising for both parties.

    I don’t see why a football team such as Chelsea would need to advertise with a F1 team and it seems even more unlikely that Sauber have any need to advertise with an English Premier League side. I suppose you could argue they are trying to increase their fan bases.

    The only area they both have in common is probably sport science and the health/fitness of drivers and footballers, but I would have thought Chelsea should already have some of the best facilities in Football.

    If money is part of the deal it makes even less sense to me, as although Abramovich (Chelsea’s owner) has plenty of money, Chelsea Football Club need to try to stop make losses because of the UEFA fair play regulations, although I assume some clever accountants would be able to get around these rules.

    Chelsea announce reduced losses and a record turnover

    The engine cover is one of the main advertising locations on a F1 car so I would have thought Sauber must be getting something worthwhile out of the deal but if that is the case I can’t see what Chelsea get out of the deal.

    The only thing which seems to fit is that Abramovich wants to get involved with F1 and thought Chelsea was as good a name as anything to put on the car at the moment.

  18. I’m not quite sure how a football team can sponsor a Formula 1 team, doesn’t a football team also require sponsors? To me it seems as odd as perhaps McLaren sponsoring HRT, I don’t understand how this works but any sponsorship is good.

    1. I’m not quite sure how a football team can sponsor a Formula 1 team, doesn’t a football team also require sponsors?

      Chelsea has sponsors – primarily Samsung and Addidas. The deal to sponsor Sauber would make sense if Chelsea approached the team and said “our sponsors want to work in Formula 1; if we bring them to you, can we have some space on the car?” … but Sauber is already sponsored by NEC, which is one of Samsung’s competitors, and while a lot of teams have deals with clothing companies to supply uniforms and the like, they’re usually technical partnerships and not worth as much as full sponsorship.

  19. I just don’t understand how Sauber thinks that having this most boring grey and white background does not make a neutral backdrop for sponsors. I think it actually keeps sponsors from wanting to work with them. It looks like a nice looking car, but these black and white areas completely take away from the elegant lines of the car and make any logos on them look cheap. I keep seeing ghost images of Burger King on the side. I love the Sauber team but almost am embarrassed at how ugly and cheap the car can look.

  20. Could’ve been worse.

  21. Also a thing that makes me think that this move is personal for Abramovich with regards to promote him club with no connection to Russia, is the fact that he is supporting a non-Renault team.

    Minding Renault presence and lobbying importance of Renault in Russia it’s hard to see any of Russian big names sponsoring non-Renault car, in F1.

  22. I guess that settles the issue of Perez in Sepang then. He was just pulling a Torres.

  23. Presumably, Sauber will now hire a new driver away at an extortionate amount of money – say around £50m – who will then dramatically underperform for the better part of two seasons before having a seemingly random flurry of good results towards the end of the second season.

    Torres – the best con job a scouser ever pulled.

  24. Not a great start for the new deal…but all publicity is good publicity, right?
    Here’s Newcastle beating Chelsea with the new pitch-side advertising in the background:

    And here’s the Sauber showing off its new logos:

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