While I love the excitement of Formula 1 racing, the business side of motorsports also fascinates me. The sponsorship of race teams and the races themselves is big business and teams and races cannot survive without it.
I like to see when teams and races get creative and the Sauber F1 team really has been doing some cool things. I've written about their new innovative partnership with the Chelsea FC British soccer team and now I've learned the team will continue it's sponsor relationship with the country of Mexico, featuring the "visit Mexico" logo on the cars. I think it's a cool partnership as one of Sauber's drivers is the Mexican Formula 1 racer Sergio Perez. I think Perez is one of the hottest drivers in F1 and he's currently ranked 9th in the Formula 1 driver's rankings with 22 points. Despite barely racing for Sauber in 2011, his F1 debut year, he's back this year and doing well.
The Sauber team announced the renewal of the partnership with Mexico on April 12th and the country will be featured in 12 of the remaining 18 Grands Prix on the rear wing of the two Sauber C31-Ferrari F1 cars. In every race, the name will be on the nose cones of the cars, the team's equipment and right on the racing suits and helmets of the drivers. This is a typical F1 sponsor arrangement, but I think it will be very effective, as, instead of a logo, it's a statement, "Visit Mexico." With races held in Europe and around the world, there are millions of potential visitors to Mexico watching every Formula 1 race. Sergio Perez is joined on the Sauber team with Japanese racer Kamui Kobayashi and the team has a huge Japanese fanbase who follow Kobayashi.
In a comment about the sponsorship relationship in the company's press release, Peter Sauber, the team's principal said: "We are very happy that this partnership is continuing. We can assume that our good results in the first two Grands Prix have contributed to the renewing of the agreement, and, of course, Sergio's second place finish in Malaysia has once again ignited pride in his home country." The whole partnership makes sense to me as Mexico will get great exposure to potential tourists, while also supporting Perez, their hometown hero.
A lifetime auto racing fan, Freddy Sherman collects vintage muscle cars and attends races and rally events in the U.S. and around the world. You can follow him on twitter -@thefredshermanMore from this contributor: Formula 1's Only Female CEO - Sauber's Monisha Kaltenborn Narang: Fan's View
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