Formula One raises a glass to Johnnie Walker partnership

Scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker has entered into a multi-year partnership with the Formula One motor-racing series.

Under the deal, the Diageo-owned brand will become the official whisky of Formula One. Johnnie Walker will also use the partnership to promote and expand its ‘Join the Pact’ campaign, which encourages people not to drink and drive.

Nick Blazquez, president of Diageo in Africa and Asia, said: “Becoming the official whisky of Formula One will enable Johnnie Walker to greatly extend its reach to race fans. As a result of our new arrangement, we will have access to a global television audience of more than 450 million people and a track attendance audience of around 1.5 million every year.

“Equally important, and a key reason for Johnnie Walker to become the official whisky of Formula One, is the huge opportunity we have through this expanded global platform to reach even more F1 fans around the world with responsible drinking messages.

“We believe there is great potential in what we can achieve together. The Johnnie Walker Join the Pact campaign is a proven, powerful programme that is already driving positive change. More than one million people around the world have signed the Join the Pact pledge to ‘Never Drink and Drive’. We are therefore announcing today our intention to increase our investment behind this programme, activating it in new territories with an ambition of gaining a further five million personal commitments over the next four years.”

Johnnie Walker already has a strong affiliation with the motor-racing series, having served as a partner of the McLaren team since 2005. The brand also has links with F1 that stretch back to the 1950s when Rob Walker, whose great-great grandfather founded the whisky business, established his own private racing team.

Former F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen has also served as Johnnie Walker’s global responsible drinking ambassador since 2006.