Formula One team Force India has signed a sponsorship deal with footwear brand Havaianas for the start of the motor-racing series’ 2018 season in Melbourne, Australia this weekend.
Havaianas’ logo will appear on the halo cockpit protection structure on Force India’s cars. The halo, whose appearance has been likened to that of a flip-flop, is a new safety device being introduced across F1 this season in an effort to provide greater protection to drivers’ heads.
The company’s branding will appear on Force India’s cars at selected races throughout the 2018 season, starting with the Australian Grand Prix. It will also have a presence at several European races and, most significantly, at the Brazilian Grand Prix in São Paulo, where Havaianas’ parent company Alpargatas is based.
Márcio Utsch, chief executive of Alpargatas, said: “This is huge news for Havaianas. We want to bring our fun and cool vibe to Formula One and the opportunity presented by Force India really grabbed our attention.
“At Havaianas, we pride ourselves on listening to the fans of our brand and over the last few months we have seen more and more people associating our flips-flops with the new halo across social media.
“Together with Force India we have come up with an eye-catching design on the car’s halo, which was the logical place to locate our flip-flop strap. We are looking forward to engaging with Formula One fans at races around the world throughout the year, so stay tuned for some exciting developments.”
Earlier this month, fellow F1 team McLaren agreed a deal with British lifestyle brand Gandys for the company’s logo to appear on the halo of its cars at the Australian Grand Prix.