Dutch beer maker Heineken has signed a deal to sponsor Formula One racing, starting with the Italian Grand Prix in September.
Heineken will be a name partner for the Italian and two other races per season but its logo will not be visible on the cars, the company said in a statement.
The contract is for a number of years and no financial details were given. However, insiders have suggested the deal could be worth as much as tens of millions of euros a year.
‘Formula One is bigger than a race. It is a global event,’ senior director Gianluca Di Tondo said. The Heineken campaign will focus on the strong commercial opportunities offered by Formula One and the ‘expansion of our responsible drinking platform in new and innovative ways’, Di Tondo said.
Global sponsorship director Hans Erik Tuijt told news agency ANP that some 30% of the Heineken funding will go on the ‘If you drive, never drink’ campaign, which involves former world champion Jacky Stewart.
Heineken’s sponsorship of motor racing is unconnected to the current success of young Dutch driver Max Verstappen, Tuijt told ANP. ‘This is a complex deal and has been two years in the making,’ he said.
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