SBD/April 30, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Chelsea FC, Sauber F1 Team Announce Two-Way Sponsorship Deal

The airbox above the driver's head is one of the most valuable ad spots on the car
EPL club Chelsea FC has signed a partnership with F1 team Sauber which will begin at the May 11-13 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. The Chelsea FC crest will be displayed on the cars of Sauber drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez (Chelsea FC). In London, Kevin Eason notes the value of the deal is unknown, but the "prime spot chosen for Chelsea on the airbox above the driver's head is one of the most valuable advertising sites on the car," worth up to US$4.87M per season for some teams. However, the cash deal "appears to have been watered down with the exchanges on the sale of merchandise and sports science know-how, as well as cross-advertising." Sauber "will also get a presence at Chelsea." Eason writes Sauber has been "one of Formula One's least glamorous teams," but that "has changed over the past two seasons." Sauber has "collected a raft of sponsors and cashed in on backing from" Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim. Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn said, "A partnership like this between Formula One and football has never existed before in this form, yet there are numerous commonalities and possible synergies." Eason notes Chelsea FC will "show the Sauber logo at home matches on advertising boards at the stadium and on interview walls" (LONDON TIMES, 4/30). REUTERS' Alan Baldwin notes Sauber "had the mysterious inscriptions 'out of the Blue' and 'True Blue' on the engine covers of their cars in the last two races in China and Bahrain without saying what the words signified" (REUTERS, 4/30).
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