Heineken toasts F1 partnership

The Heineken brewery has signed up as a global partner of the Formula One motor-racing world championship.

The deal will reportedly run until 2020.

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, but £100m (€128m/$144m) has been reported in various sections of the media.

The agreement will commence this year with Heineken granted title sponsorship of the Italian Grand Prix, which takes place at Monza from September 2-4. From the 2017 season, Heineken will be the title sponsor of three grands prix per season and will also have a significant presence at several additional races selected by Heineken and Formula One Management.

Heineken will be F1's exclusive global beer partner and will also have substantial pouring, activation and access rights across most F1 events. However, contrary to previous reports, Heineken branding will not be visible on any F1 cars.

Heineken will also support a campaign entitled 'If You Drive, Never Drink' with circuit branding, television commercials, digital activations, live fan experiences and events.

F1 legends Sir Jackie Stewart and David Coulthard have been recruited as brand ambassadors.

Gianluca Di Tondo, senior director of the global Heineken brand, said: “F1 represents a unique opportunity for Heineken to engage with existing and potential consumers in important growth markets. F1 delivers in three specific areas; strong commercial opportunities; expansion of our responsible drinking platform in new and innovative ways; and enabling skill transfers between F1 and our employees.

“This partnership complements our existing global platforms, enabling us to reach F1’s huge spectator numbers and 400 million unique television viewers every year. The hallmark of our long and successful relationships with Uefa Champions League, Rugby World Cup and the James Bond franchise is our passion to excite our consumers.”