Honda and Mercedes to title respective home Grands Prix

Formula One manufacturers Honda and Mercedes will Title Sponsor the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix and the 2019 German Grand Prix, respectively, in an unprecedented show of support for their home races.

Although it’s not unusual for Formula One’s Global Partners to bundle race title deals into their agreements, it is rare for manufacturers to buy the centrally-sold race title rights.

In Honda’s case, the company has a dual interest in the success of the Japanese Grand Prix because it is also the owner and promoter of the Suzuka racetrack. Last week, Formula One signed an agreement with the Honda subsidiary Mobilityland for Suzuka to host the race for another three years.

The Mercedes deal will help the Hockenheim racetrack re-establish its place on the Formula One circuit after the German Grand Prix was dropped from the race calendar in 2017.

For more on Formula One’s central sponsorship programme in 2018, click here.

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The partnership is understood to be a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and builds on AXA’s existing Global Partner agreement with Liverpool.

The deal is the largest ever sponsorship investment in UK women’s sport and comes less than a year after the league went fully professional in September 2018.

Under the five-year global deal, Oppo will become the first Official Smartphone Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon, as the event is officially known.

US sportswear brand Nike is paying about $7.5m (€6.7m) per year to sponsor China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL), according to industry sources.