Cyber Security Technology Sponsors Formula 1

The world of Formula 1(F1) motor racing sponsorship is highly complex and sponsors invest in the sport for many different reasons - there are often a number of different facets to a team/partner relationship.  Motivation ranges from pure passion and inspiration for being associated with top level sport to suppliers, engineering and technology partners. 

Big tech brands like IBM, Dell, HP and SAP have been in F1 for years but there have been some changes. Tobacco and alcohol advertising was common in motorsport, however, as bans spread throughout the world teams are beginning to use alternative livery and insignia which previously associated to the tobacco or alcohol sponsor which now often can’t be used because of national bans. 

McLaren have recently signed up leading AI security firm Darktrace which specialises in cyber defense. The company was established in 2013 and is headquartered in Cambridge, UK and San Francisco, with over 40 offices worldwide. 

McLaren have also signed BAT (British American Tobacco) as one of their principal sponsors. Tobacco may be generally on the way out, but vaping is on the way in!

 F1 teams are gradually reducing some of their economic dependence on alcohol and tobacco companies for advertising and have also begun to focus some efforts on technology brands. Instead of sticking giant logos onto the cars, technology companies are increasingly focusing on providing B2B services to teams. 

These companies showcase their Formula 1 involvement as case studies to potential and current clients. With the sport known for its cutting-edge technology, it serves as an effective tool to lure new customers. Moreover, many of these companies do not have a vast B2C portfolio and, hence, do not require brand visibility in form of sponsorship logos.

Away from the limelight, Qualcomm provides technical support to Mercedes, while Ferrari has a high profile deal with internet security giant Kaspersky. 

Neither of the two teams carry prominent logos of their technology partners. At McLaren, giant SAP logos on side-pods and rear wing have been replaced by a small sticker on the nose cone.

Further down the starting grid, the Williams racing team is getting sponsorship from Thales, while closer to the front McLaren with Darktrace and Mercedes with  Crowdstrike have joined Ferrari with Kaspersky.

The Paddock:       Sportsrush:     Motor Sport Magazine:  


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