Coca-Cola will return to Formula One in 2013 with the Lotus F1 Team. The deal was announced this afternoon for a multi-year sponsorship through the soft-drink giant’s global energy brand “burn”.
It’s unclear at the moment whether ‘burn’ will become the team’s title sponsor, or join the team’s existing partners including Microsoft Dynamics, TW Steel, Symantec and of course Renault. Details will be revealed at the beginning of 2013 when the partnership officially launches.
The news comes within a month of the rumours which spread at the Indian GP, where it was revealed that the team had been looking for minority investors to bridge the shortfall in capital provided by team owners, Genii Capital.
At the time both Team Principal Eric Boullier and Stephane Samson, Head of Communications and Marketing, both denied the team was up for sale, however they had been close to doing a deal which would bring new equity capital to support their move further up the grid in 2013. Their confidence was vindicated a few days later when Kimi Raikkonen signed for another year and now with Coca-Cola on board, the future is looking bright for the Enstone-based team.
As we approach the final race of the season in Brazil this weekend, Lotus F1 lie 3rd in the world championship standings, behind Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, but in front of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Raikkonen’s memorable win in Abu Dhabi will no doubt have provided all the incentive Coca-Cola needed to return to F1.
Emmanuel Seuge, Coca-Cola’s Group Director of Sports & Entertainment Marketing, said “Lotus F1 Team, as the number one emerging challenger in the sport, has demonstrated exceptional creativity in their approach to Formula 1 racing and their collaborations with partners – an approach that mirrors the philosophy of burn.
We will bring that same creativity through burn, incorporating art and music in a way that will break the conventions of traditional Formula 1 sponsorship marketing.”
And that’s very much the impression gained when one explores the brand – unlike Red Bull which is distinguished by outdoor extreme sports, or Monster with its focus on bike racing, drifting and rallycross, burn is more of a club music and dance brand – it’s fuel for those who like to party hard.
Sounds like Kimi will make the perfect brand ambassador..
Big names in the club music scene are already working with burn, including David Guetta, whose reputation for marathon sets is legendary – the brand describes its product as “a potent combination of energizing ingredients, designed to invigorate your senses and keep you going.”
They’re a brand which embodies a live-out-loud mentality, without fear of the boundaries created by society – which again sounds like Kimi to a tee.
We’ll leave the last words to Eric Boullier, Lotus F1 Team Principal, “We are proud that The Coca-Cola Company has chosen Lotus F1 Team as the best vehicle to represent the burn brand in its most high profile partnership.
We are excited to partner with burn to build a new and innovative model for sponsorships that will combine experiences, content creation and social media; an area in which our team has been at the cutting edge in Formula 1 for the past 18 months, recording the highest growth rate amongst fans this year.”