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Angry Lotus!

May 19, 2012

Formula 1 is an expensive sport, an extremely expensive sport.  Teams rely on a number of different sources to acquire the cash necessary to create a competitive outfit.  Many teams are owned by multi-millionaire businessmen, others rely on their drivers to pay for their seat in the car, according to the Guardian, Pastor Maldonado brings an estimated £45 million to Williams.  Advertising and sponsorship deals bring even more money to the teams who sell space on the body of their car to the highest bidder.  This year these deals and partnerships have been getting  quite interesting.

Recently we found out about the partnership that has been forged between the Sauber F1 team and Chelsea Football Club, with the football club’s logo making an appearance on the Sauber F1 car at Barcelona last weekend.  The deal brings together two of the most popular spectator sports in the world in an innovative example of cross-branding.  In return for sporting the Chelsea logo on their car Sauber will have their image featured on advertising screens surrounding the Stamford Bridge field.  Football and Formula 1 are already two of the biggest sports in the world and partnerships like these will increase their global reach even further.  Perhaps in the not-too-distant future we will see the Red Devil of Manchester United alongside the Prancing horse of Ferrari, or a Red Bull storming across the field at Arsenal!

The latest partnership to be announced is certainly the strangest.  Lotus F1 Team have announced that they will be joining forces with the most popular digital game in the world, Angry Birds.  Lotus is celebrating its 500th Grand Prix in Monaco and Angry Birds has reached an incredible 1 billion downloads.  To celebrate both occasions the Lotus E20 will sport Angry Bird branding as it races around Monaco and Rovio, Angry Bird’s developers, are releasing a unique version of their popular game which will be playable on the Lotus website from the 23rd of May.  No one is quite sure what the game, creatively entitled “Lotus F1 Team Angry Birds”, will entail and the teaser video released by Rovio doesn’t give away many clues!

I am extremely excited by this wave of innovative partnerships.  It brings a freshness to F1 that is desperately needed.  Hopefully the other teams will pick up on the trend and we will see a host of new relationships forming.  Who knows, someday we may see the Facebook logo flying past us at Silverstone, with a live ticker displaying the number of ‘likes’ the team’s Facebook Page has received?  The possibilities are endless and there are countless combinations that can be formed between teams and corporate partners.

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