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SBD Global/April 15, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sponsors To Keep Low Profile, Focus On Regional Partners At Bahrain F1 Race

The Bahrain Grand Prix may be going ahead this weekend, but "will not do so with everyone involved seemingly as happy about it" as F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, according to CRASH. While motorsports governing body FIA "has refused to confirm its stance" on the political situation within the Gulf state, and the teams admitting that "they will go wherever the sport's ringmaster leads them," the multinationals that bankroll F1 do not "appear so comfortable going with the flow." Following "the awkward situation" 12 months ago, sponsors are "scaling back their financial involvement for this one race." Several notable sponsors "have already confirmed that their presence will be significantly reduced, or even invisible, in Bahrain," even to the extent of removing branding from teams, cars and drivers. Others, including McLaren title sponsor Vodafone, "are opting for regional brands instead of their own" (CRASH, 4/13).
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