Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017

Ferrari extends Marlboro sponsorship deal

2017 F1 season

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Ferrari has confirmed an extension of its contract with tobacco producer Philip Morris International, which produces the Marlboro brand.

A brief statement issued on Monday confirmed only that the team had “renewed its multi-year partnership with Philip Morris International”.

“The agreement continues the collaboration of over 40 years between Philip Morris International and Scuderia Ferrari,” it added.

Philip Morris Intrernational is the only tobacco producer which is still active in Formula One. Increased advertising restrictions led other tobacco brands to leave the sport in the late-noughties.

Ferrari has been criticised for continuing its association with Marlboro. In 2010 the team changed its livery in response to complaints it was circumventing the ban on tobacco advertising.

The following year Ferrari introduced a new red-and-white team logo which remains on the team’s airboxes. This also drew criticism over its similarities to Marlboro’s branding, and Ferrari responded by removing the word ‘Marlboro’ from its official team name.

Marlboro is one of Formula One’s longest-running sponsors. It arrived in the sport with BRM and later backed Alfa Romeo. It enjoyed a successful, long-running association with McLaren which ended in 1996.

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene is a former vice-president of Marlboro.

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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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  • 31 comments on “Ferrari extends Marlboro sponsorship deal”

    1. Would be be more appropriate for Marlboro to be back with McLaren since the McLaren cars are usually smoking.

      1. Bah-dum, tssss

      2. Haha good one

      3. Brutal

      4. Hahahahahahah. Brilliant!

      5. marlboro only fits one team, and that is mclaren , enough said

    2. Must be a weird deal, not much they can do to make the brand visible publicly.

      1. This way Marlboro can have some cash flow and people do associate the cars with Marlboro from the old days.
        Losing Marlboro would be a big hit for Ferrari F1!

        1. Probably would, but then again it must be a hell of a deal to get sponsorship money from a brand that you’re not allowed to have the logo of on your car.

      2. “Must be a weird deal, not much they can do to make the brand visible publicly”.

        Not really, While we all keep talking about Marlboro they will continue to sponsor Ferrari. We are actually promoting their product.

      3. Pretty sure Philip morris buy all the advertising space from Ferrari and sell this space themselves.

    3. IIRC (an quite possibly wrongly!) they own the overall sponsorship for the car now and act as a agent/broker passing on the money to the F1 team. The idea being that Philip Morris/Marlboro are experts in the field and Ferrari can concentrate on driving.

      1. @georgetuk, it is correct that Marlboro acts as a “middle man” in that arrangement, although the reason that I have seen for that arrangement is different – it is because that arrangement allows them to circumvent the ban on tobacco advertising in Europe by allowing Marlboro to classify itself as an external advertising consultant to Ferrari.

    4. So then I guess Ferrari and Marlboro are a bit “noughtie” ?

    5. If people oppose Pat Symonds or Briatore for being to stained to get back as executive again, or Tilke butchering half the old F1 circuits because of F1 safety and not to be so engine heavy anymore (cited as seasons yes), or not supporting Istanbul Park back on the calender just because it’s in Turkey (same is happening with Russia with some western fans), you can’t say ”fans don’t care about ethics in this macho-sport” … but then why does everyone become quiet when sponsorships for teams are questioned…? It looks quite hypocrite.

      1. I’m really eager to know this. I would suggest, some parts of the sport don’t care about all the other things I mentioned, and maybe… just cite them when particular drivers lose and aren’t getting an advantage with some regulations they oppose. That would mean that some of new emerging audiences are indeed hypocritical and not sustainable (as they’re exploiting ethics) and Bernie was right when he said ”I don’t care about younger audiences”.

        Or is this being too ethical?

      2. Sochi GP is not merely opposed because it’s in Russia (although many people rightly have a hard time watching their favourite sport being turned into a Putinfest every once a year); Sochi GP is opposed because it’s a boring layout which can’t produce an enjoyable race to save it’s life.

    6. Horrible – I was in Greece with my family and people were smoking like chimneys. Even if my family didn’t smoke, we easily smoked 10 packs there. Just shameful… You can’t smoke at a restaurant where others don’t smoke. The scuderia should not promote smoking for obvious reasons especially when their largest market is the USA – they should be asking for sponsors like fitbit or something beneficial.

      1. @freelittlebirds F1 sponsorship is pure business deal. If you can find a non tobacco company that willing to pour same amount of money as Marlboro to F1 then you can start asking them to reconsider their sponsors.

        1. @sonicslv, the thing is, given that tobacco advertising is banned in most countries not, and has been for the past decade or so, the deal that Ferrari has is on the edge of legality in many jurisdictions.

          Incidentally, since you raise that point, I recall that Frank Williams found that, when he became the first team in F1 to move away from tobacco advertising in the 2000’s, his sponsorship income actually went up – although he lost money from the tobacco industry, he gained more from sponsors that had been interested in entering F1 but did not want to be associated with the tobacco sponsors on his car.

          1. It’s indeed sketchy from legal point of view, but that’s the nature of pure business. And we shouldn’t demand someone else to lose their income because it doesn’t sit well with our idealism, not without providing acceptable alternative.

            One thing that makes tobacco companies great as sponsor is they can afford lot of money and they seem immune to recession. Look at Williams title sponsor after they stopped using Winfield, I don’t think any of them stay sponsoring F1 for long term. It’s not coincidence that current F1 cars lack of sponsors and even when they have a lot like Force India, money is still a big issue.

            I don’t think tobacco company target with sponsorship is to make non smokers into a smoker, but to make a smoker switch their brand. Try to ask a smoker you know why they start smoking, I bet most of them won’t answer “because my favorite sport team sponsored by…”. For me those tobacco money is better used for F1 benefits instead of paying TV/magazine/giant billboard adverts.

        2. @sonicslv how on earth can a company like Ferrari not be able to find a sponsor other than Marlboro? If Force India with its owners’ scandals and geographically limited constructor name can find sponsors, then Ferrari should have a line of sponsors. If not, then someone at Ferrari is not doing their job well.

          1. @freelittlebirds It’s not that they can’t find sponsors, it’s there any other company pouring Marlboro worth of money? Even company as big as Vodafone pulled out of F1 after “only” about 10 years while Marlboro happily funding Ferrari for over 40 years. Although I don’t have proof, I bet FI sells their sponsors spot for cheap considering they still have money problems and their sponsors isn’t exactly as big company as other teams sponsors (for comparison NEC seems to have much bigger space in FI than when they sponsor other team).

    7. It sounds really anachronistic, smoking is bad for health, in decline in a lot of places, banned here and there and so on.
      But let’s remember that still, F1 is a business and money still flow to tobacco multinationals; the same goes with alcohol: bad, do not drink and drive but when Heineken opens the suitcase the whole F1 brand is associated with the beer manufacturer.

    8. Now i get it:

      I think nobody would associate these 2 logos naturally. It´s more like an “easter egg” for hardcore marlboro fans than advertisment for new customers…
      The real problem is that it´s very ugly.

      Would a driver be allowed to smoke marlboros before the race? Or even better before qualifying?

    9. Gotta soothe those nerves, but not to worry, you’ll bounce back in Singapore…

    10. The sooner this cancerous deal is over with, the better.

    11. With sponsors so hard to come by for all teams beggars can’t be choosers. No team will turn down this money. Tobacco sposorship is no worse than betting companies who are plastered everywhere and have tv adverts all times of the day.

    12. The wheezing prancing horse – sleaze on fast wheels.

    13. personally speaking, I am tired of this hysteria surrounding cigarette sponsorship, I never smoked marlboro or west or the other brands that were advertised during my youth.

      They banned sponsorship in this driving series and people continue to smoke, in that it has been ineffective.

      I accept that cigarette sponsorship of sporting events like running or other purely physical endeavors is in congruent but sitting in a car and driving is not the same a running a long distance race.

      Since the loss of cigarette company sponsorship F1 has been in financial decline, this cannot be in any doubt.

      So, we banned cigarette advertising but this alcohol was allowed to take over. Which is more hypotcritical, advertising cigarettes in a driving series (a legal product) or adverting alcohol in a driving series?

      No amount of government interference is going to stop people smoking, can we not recognise this by now? People know the harmful effects and make the choice to smoke or to not smoke anyway.

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