What is the benefit to Marlboro of sponsoring Ferrari?

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    My question to you F1 fanatics is a simple one, albeit a question which I couldn’t give a good answer to when asked by a casual F1 viewer: What is the benefit to Marlboro of sponsoring Ferrari? Marlboro are not allowed to have their name on the car, the barcodes which some (myself included) believed to be subliminal advertising were removed as well, albeit by Ferrari themselves, and Marlboro aren’t even in the team name anymore. So what is their reason for spending a substantial amount of money on Ferrari to sponsor them?


    I think Ferrari sell Marlboro all the sponsorship rights to all the car, and instead of putting ‘MARLBORO’ logos all over the car, Marlboro sell on ad space to Shell, Santander ect and are possibly making a profit out of it.

    They tobacco company might give Ferrari £60m but are able to recoup their investment from the likes of Shell and AMD ect, and also get their name on the garages at Grand Prix, and also it gets broadcast in the post race interviews (they said: 2012 Malaysian GP Winner for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Fernando Alonso for example post race two weeks ago). And also there is lots of discussion on the whole controversy ofpeople not being sure if they are breaking the rules by sponsoring or not? Certainly lots of media coverage got the Marlboro name publicised in 2010 when the bar code was taken away after doctors complained it was subliminal. Then the new logo was unveiled and they got more media coverage because it looks like a Marlboro Cigarette packet- cue more controversy, and indeed discussions like this one, we’re talking about Ferrari and Marlboro right now!


    they get a Fisichella or Marc Gene advert.


    As well as what Calum said, I think that by having the current Scuderia Ferrari logo (which incidentally looks far more like a pack of Marlboro cigarettes than the barcode) and by just maintaining an association with Ferrari, people will subconsciously make the connection to Marlboro.

    Also, these companies have massive marketing budgets that they can’t spend in most of the world, so they may as well sponsor Ferrari rather than doing nothing.


    What @ed24f1 says is largely true. The simple fact that just about everyone who knows something about F1 is aware of the ties between Ferrari and Marlboro already achieves a lot of PR for them.


    I think there’s tobacco advertising in the middle east (unless I’m mistaken) and other parts of asia, so they can still use Ferrari to advertise their product, rather than the other way round.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    According to Wikipedia – and the Formula 1 pages over there are very reliable – Marlboro no longer officially sponsors Ferrari. And by that, I mean the official team name as it appears on FIA entry lists is “Scuderia Ferrari”, and not “Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro”. I believed the brand was dropped from the Ferrari name at Silverstone last year. And although some people claim that the Scuderia Ferrari logo introduced around the same time was subliminally designed to resemble a cigarette package, Marlboro’s packet design has not been changed for years.

    Honestly, I’m surprised that Phillip Morris still buy up all the space on the car. Few companies would be entirely comfortable with the idea, and most of the brands that do appear on the Ferrari – Shell, Kaspersky Labs, etc. – are technical partners that only have small(er) logos. Santander are the only real sponsors, and even then, their logos don’t dominate. I guess most sponsors have a problem with being associated with a cigarette brand, much less paying the owners of that brand for sponsor space. So without Marlboro branding (or even the barcode design), Phillip Morris would have to be running at a loss, even though they’re apparently paying Ferrari until 2015 (or possibly even until 2017). I would have thought that Phillip Morris would back out of the deal by now, and Ferrari would get a new title sponsor. “Scuderia Ferrari Santander”, perhaps, or – if Sergio Perez were to join the team – “Scuderia Ferrari Claro”.


    But I don’t think they buy the livery to make a profit, just to make sure that they have some control over the livery which allows a continuation of the livery link to the days when they were proper sponsors of the team.

    If they relinquish this control, and Santander comes in and makes half of the car white or something (an exaggeration), this wouldn’t be good for Phillip Morris, as some of the subconscious link to Marlboro would be lost.

    You can see from this photo at Monaco that Marlboro definitely use Ferrari in their advertisements where they can;
    Credit; Sutton Images

    Prisoner Monkeys

    @ed24f1 – Seems like a very expensive exercise with very little to gain from it.


    I would think that there are massive advertising benefits in the non-namby pamby nanny states/countries in this world.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    What, all three of them?


    Well they can’t advertise in any other way, and have a massive advertising budget like any other country, so they have to do what they can, and doing what they do with Ferrari probably keeps them more in the public eye than many other tobacco brands.


    There’s clearly some value in tie-ups between car companies and cigarettes


    From the above site
    “take a look at Lamborghini Cigarettes that is due to be launched on the 18th of this month. Created by South Korea’s KT&G and named after the famous Italian fashion brand “Tonino Lamborghini”, these cigarettes are said to cost 2,700 Won ($2.4) each. “


    We are talking about it, aren’t we?


    I guess you’re unlikely to get spontaneous “advertising” like this anymore:



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