Tobacco giant expands McLaren backing

More promotional spots on its cars in F1 and IndyCar

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By Olivier Ferret

29 November 2019 - 09:43
Tobacco giant expands McLaren (...)

McLaren Racing and British American Tobacco (BAT) have today announced they have signed an enhanced partnership deal, as the 2019 Formula 1 season comes to a close, having only entered into its multi-year global partnership with the famous racing team earlier this year. The new deal will see BAT become a Principal Partner of McLaren from the 2020 Formula 1 season, having enjoyed a highly successful partnership together in 2019.

Continuing to be rooted in advanced technology and innovation, the enhanced partnership will help to further accelerate BAT’s transformation, at the heart of which is its commitment to growing its portfolio of New Category products. The partnership offers an exciting, global platform to drive awareness of these New Category products which have the potential to be less risky than cigarettes for millions of smokers worldwide.

The enhanced deal includes:
• Significantly increased branding positions on the Formula 1 car – including highly visible new sidepod branding, inside halo and front wing branding positions
• A commitment for the two companies to co-create marketing content to drive increased awareness of the partnership
• Partnering with McLaren for its return to the full-time IndyCar competition in 2020, which will see 17 races take place across the US
• A continued commitment for BAT and McLaren Applied Technologies to work together on developing innovation with application in BAT’s New Category portfolio

The 2020 season will continue to see BAT vary its branding – through its “dynamic branding” approach - in support of its transformation agenda and broad portfolio of New Category products, at all times in line with applicable regulation and legislation. This will include branding for BAT’s leading vapour range, VUSE, and its modern oral product, VELO.

Also central to the partnership is BAT’s ongoing work with McLaren Applied Technologies, further strengthening its technology and innovation ambitions which are paramount to the continuing development of its New Category products. The two companies are actively working together on a number of projects focused on enhancing BAT’s New Category product pipeline.

Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing said:

“We’re pleased to announce our enhanced partnership with BAT after a successful first season together. BAT’s transformation agenda remains central to this partnership, as does a shared focus on technology and innovation and we look forward to continuing our work together from 2020 and beyond. As we reach the end of the 2019 season, we thank BAT for its continued support.”

Commenting on the announcement, Kingsley Wheaton, BAT’s Chief Marketing Officer said:

“We’re extremely proud of our partnership with McLaren which has been going from strength-to-strength this season – whether it’s increased awareness of our portfolio of New Category products, technology insights and expertise to support our R&D activities or using the platform to create excitement amongst colleagues internally, we are absolutely delighted with what our partnership has delivered in 2019. The McLaren team are fantastic to work with and it’s great to see the team performing on the track. Our partnership is giving us a truly global marketing and innovation platform to accelerate our journey with our New Categories business, focused on creating a better tomorrow for our consumers, shareholders, society and employees."

“I am particularly excited about our plans to partner with McLaren for their return to the IndyCar series, after a 40-year break, next year. The 17-race calendar aligns very well with our geographical footprint and business priorities.”

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