F1 News, Views and Reviews

ING To End F1 Sponsorship After 2010

Dutch banking giant ING has announced today that it is pulling its sponsorship out of Formula One from 2010.

This will affect the sponsorship of multiple races, and also the sponsorship of the Renault F1 Team where they are the title sponsor.

ING came into F1 in 2007 to sponsor Renault, after the team lost Mild Seven sponsorship in the wake of increased tobacco advertisment restriction.

Now that the world economic crisis is underway, analysts assumed that ING would scale back sponsorship operations but no full scale withdrawal was expected.

A statement issued by ING said: “In light of the recently announced cost reduction programme, ING confirmed today not to renew the three year sponsorship (2007-2009) contract with Renault F1 and to end its presence in F1 beyond the 2009 season.

“ING’s participation in Formula One was the company’s first global sponsorship project aimed at delivering revenue and raising the global brand awareness, particularly in ING’s key growth markets. Over the past two years, ING has successfully achieved its objectives for the F1 sponsorship, raising its overall global brand awareness by 16% (March 07 vs November 08).

“F1 remains a powerful business driver even in a difficult economic climate. Whilst ING has cut the F1 sponsorship costs by 40% in the final year, revenue generating opportunities will be a continuing focus through 2009. ING has enjoyed the relationship with Renault F1 and will continue to work closely with the team during the final year of the partnership.”

The future of the Renault F1 Team had been in doubt and this announcement really shook the boat once again, prompting team boss Flavio Briatore to release this statement;

“During the past three years, the team and ING have enjoyed a rewarding and successful relationship,” Briatore said in a statement on his team’s official website.

“ING has been an enthusiastic and supportive partner for the Renault F1 team in all respects. They have been a true success story and have become a brand that is recognised worldwide thanks to an innovative and proactive sponsorship programme with our team and Formula One.

“However, we have been aware for quite some time that the world’s current financial climate was calling for a restructuring of our sport and with FOTA we have moved in that direction.

“Drastic cost reductions have been on FOTA’s agenda as one of the first priorities and with the ongoing programme of measures we are confident we can guarantee a solid future for our team and for Formula One.”

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