Manor, Circuit of the Americas, 2015

Sponsor Watch: Mexico, USA and Russia

Sponsor Watch

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With local drivers taking part in the last three races several regional sponsors were persuaded to add or increase their backing for teams in Mexico, America and Russia.

Russian Grand Prix

Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, Sochi Autodrom, 2015
As last year, Red Bull displayed the logo of Russia’s third largest supermarket chain Dixy on its front wing in Sochi

Russia’s advertising regulations meant many teams had to remove any alcohol branding from their cars. Martini logos were gone from the Williams, although the distinctive stripes remained.

Force India were also affected, whisky company Royal Challenge logos were replaced by NEC on the side of the car, whilst vodka brand Smirnoff was replaced on the rear wing by the Vijay Mallya owned brand Kingfisher. McLaren were the other team that had to alter their car, the logos of whisky company Johnnie Walker were replaced by drink-driving campaign ‘#JoinThePact’, previously seen at the British Grand Prix.

United States Grand Prix

Alexander Rossi, Manor, Circuit of the Americas, 2015
Manor made sure the Austin crowd knew where to find the home driver

The Manor cars had enhanced branding from local driver Alexander Rossi’s sponsor Alaska Coffee Roasting at the United States Grand Prix. They also ensured maximum attention for the home driver by adding the stars and stripes to their rear wing endplate.

Sauber, Circuit of the Americas, 2015
Sauber celebrated their 400th grand prix appearance in the USA with a commemorative logo

McLaren tweaked the promotion of some of its long-standings partners including Hilton, who recently extended itsbacking of the team until 2019. Its logos appeared on the MP4-30’s sidepods at the US and Mexican Grands Prix and the Exxon brand, parent company of sponsors Esso and Mobil 1, also appeared on the car in the US:

Jenson Button, McLaren, Circuit of the Americas, 2015
McLaren rearranged some of its sponsors but didn’t add any

Among the other changes for the United States Grand Prix were Williams swapping their Rexona logos for local equivalent Degree. Lotus moved their Richard Mille logo to the the sidepod during the US Grand Prix and also featured the logo of server provider SOSystems on the car.

Another brand owned by Carlos Slim’s America Movil was added to the Force India at the US Grand Prix in the form of Infinitum, a Mexican internet service provider. Its sister company Telcel, which provides wireless communications, was featured more prominently on the sidepod.

Mexican Grand Prix

Alexander Rossi, Manor, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2015
Manor’s new sponsors in Mexico were online discounts company Coupons.com (front wing), local restaurant Centro Castellano (side of nose) and Mexican service station Corpo Gas (rear wing)

When Esteban Gutierrez drove for Sauber last year the team had many Mexican sponsors. Now they’re mostly gone with the exception of insurance provider Interproteccion, which had a more prominent spot on the car’s headrest at this race.

Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2015
Interproteccion enhanced their presence on the Saubers…

The same company also signed a one-off deal to appear on Toro Rosso’s headrests:

Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2015
…and appeared on the Toro Rossos too

Williams added some new logos to coincide with the release of a new film about the world’s most famous Martini-quaffer:

Felipe Massa, Williams, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2015
The Williams cars carried 007 branding to promote new James Bond film Spectre

Mercedes featured the logo of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative in front of the rear wheels of its car during the Mexican Grand Prix:

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2015
The collaboration between UBS and the Guggenheim museum is focussed on promoting art in Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia and held a special exhibition in Mexico City during the weekend.

However all eyes were on the crowd’s favourite Sergio Perez and his Force India team in Mexico. They had two new logos on their car: financial services organisation B×+ and construction materials company Cementos Fortaleza both featured on the rear wing end plate.

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2015
As well as the new names, existing sponsor Mexican wine producer Cavall had greater exposure on the car

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27 comments on “Sponsor Watch: Mexico, USA and Russia”

  1. You know it’s been a really, really difficult year for McLaren when you see Manor having more sponsors than them…

    1. yeah but McH can lower their own space’s rate to attract “minor” brands. It’s business, so they should stop believing they are still a top team and be more open to getting more stickers on their cars.

      1. @omarr-pepper easy to say, but difficult to do these days. McH isn’t the only one lacking sponsors, whatever the size of the logos. The Saubers also look really empty.

        Back in the 90s, even Minardi had the whole car covered in logos. These days, this is all they got.

        1. @fer-no65 I don’t know how much it costs (by m2, cm2 maybe?) to put your logo on the side. But what I mean is that if, let’s say, the sidepod space costs 3 million, and it’s empty, so why not reducing its price to 1 million or less? Better than nothing right?

          1. @omarr-pepper I get your idea, but imagine you’re Esso/Exxon, and you had a deal with them to get your logo in a certain size for 3 million a year. And then, because the team isn’t performing well, they get another sponsor, with a logo in a similar size for a lot less money.

            Esso would certainly complain. They probably worked out that it’s better to keep the deals they have for whatever price and keep asking the same amount of money for each part of the car.

            Sauber probably gets a lore more money having Banco do Brazil all over the car, with that specific livery, than all the little Claro logos they had last year.

            What I meant is that companies these days probably don’t like F1 as they used to. So they are less willing to put their names on the cars. The lack of sponsorship across all teams is very surprising to see: even Mercedes is short of sponsors compared to what a midfield team used to have until 2008.

    2. All year, a jewellers near me had a TAG Heuer display with a picture of Button and a fantastically miserable Alonso. Always made me smile, wondering if a glum face like that ever sold any watches. They’ve just taken it down and replaced it with a photo of Ayrton Senna…

  2. I wish more drivers had little nationalistic touches on their cars. I’ll never forget this Audi R8 I saw in some racing series that had a little German flag in a asymmetric livery. Loved it. Always like it when teammates don’t drive identical cars.

    1. Unfortunately regulations require the cars to be identical.

      1. I believe the requirement is ‘largely’ identical. Basically, the FIA want what BAR tried to do in their first season, which is run two entirely different liveries, to remain banned.

  3. How do sponsors benefit from the little tiny advertisements on F1 cars? Like the Alaska Coffee Roasting one – not a single person saw that on their television. I mean, I’m glad to see new sponsors in F1 I just don’t get it.

    1. @satchelcharge I used to wonder about that too, but now I think it’s not about having some logo in the car itself, but you can use the team image in your other promotions. Like Alaska Coffee maybe can run magazine ad or leaflets with either picture of Manor car or Rossi. It’s kind of same with TAG Heuer on McLaren years ago which have small (albeit still more visible) logo on the car but they run lot of Mika, David, and Kimi ads in magazine and their shops.

    2. What if this round-up itself is incentive? ;)

    3. Funnily enough, I did spot that one – an in-garage close up, or something – but Williams’s James Bond mirrors totally passed me by. However, Sonics is right: it’s not always about TV. For years, the teams have sold spots as “TV-visible” and “non-TV-visible”; the sponsors know what they’re buying.

    4. It also gets higher-ups at the Alaska Coffee company a pretty cool VIP package for the race as guests of the team. I used to work with a well-known sweetener company and they maintained a marketing affiliation with the Super Bowl just so that the president and his son had great seats every year.

  4. Russia’s advertising regulations meant many teams had to remove any alcohol branding from their cars.

    Can someone explain to me how Red Bull always get away with having Singha logos on their car (above the driver numbers) when others have to remove their alcohol sponsor’s logos?

    1. Depends on the scope of the sponsorship package really. Some companies use it as a good excuse to offer corporate days to staff and partners, the advertising is almost a byproduct. Then there are companies that use a reverse model, the cars / drivers will appear on their advertising to help them reach an audience or portray a particular image. It all depends on the goals of the orginisation.

      1. Sorry replied to the wrong comment! That was for @satchelcharge

    2. @geemac I don’t know the answer, but I suspect it is to do with the strength of the drink. In the past beer was classed as a soft drink in Russia and not an alcoholic drink! This stems from the much more widespread drinking of Vodka which has a much higher alcohol content. Early efforts to cut the nation’s alcohol consumption therefore didn’t target “non alcoholic” drinks like beer. I suspect the relevant advertising law which affects the F1 teams may continue to be written in this way.

  5. I’m curious on how much money from the lack of sponsors in McLaren compared to Force India, for example. We know Ron already stated he won’t sell the space in McLaren for cheap. In other hand, Force India most likely sells them really cheap (relatively) since they still have some money problems.

    In the end, I think, probably buying space in McLaren is better because the lack of other sponsors means your logo is more noticeable compared to “too busy” livery of Force India.

  6. Great article as always, just one more thing. Interprotección also sponsored Lotus in the Mexican GP as well as chewing gum company “Canel’s” http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/jm1531oc89.jpg

    1. These inter people get everywhere.

    2. @mantresx Great job spotting that! There were so many new sponsors at the Mexican GP, it was hard to keep up, although I suppose that’s a good sign!

      1. @viscountviktor Yeah, the north american races are huge markets, the fact that even Manor was able to find new sponsors says it all!

        One small anecdote about Canel’s, I went to a corporate event earlier this year where several companies talked to potential clients, most gave away free candy or little gifts but Canel’s had a race simulator! haha with a leaderboard and everything. I assume that the owners are really into racing because they also sponsor other teams in Mexico.

    3. Also they have unifin logo’s who sponsored sauber last year and the strange KIO logo I don’t recognise.

  7. Can’t remember the last time I saw as many new sponsors on cars as the Mexican GP. I guess that’s a good sign.

  8. I was at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez during the race and you also missed a couple of new sponsors for Lotus, among those was Canel’s (Mexican chewing gum brand that is always present in motorsports in Mexico).

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