US cigarette and tobacco giant Philip Morris International has agreed a three-year extension to its long-running sponsorship deal with Formula One motor racing team Ferrari, according to Bloomberg.
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene told the news agency that Philip Morris extended the sponsorship through 2018 at a board meeting more than a year ago without making a public announcement.
In July 2011, Philip Morris signed a three-year renewal covering the 2013 to 2015 F1 seasons in a deal reportedly worth $300m (€269.3m). The partnership represents one of the most inconspicuous sponsorships in sport, with advertising laws meaning Philip Morris hasn’t displayed its Marlboro cigarette brand at a race since 2007.
A European Union ban on tobacco advertising in the sport started in 2005. However, territories including China and Monaco allowed Ferrari to carry Marlboro branding until 2007. Ferrari’s cars currently feature a red-and-white square that resembles a Marlboro cigarette pack.
Philip Morris confirmed to Bloomberg that it has extended the partnership with Ferrari beyond 2015 without giving financial details. Philip Morris or Marlboro is not included amongst Ferrari’s current top-tier official sponsors on the team’s official website. The list comprises Alfa Romeo, Santander, Shell, UPS, Kaspersky Labs, Weichai, Hublot, Claro and TNT.
Philip Morris’ relationship with Ferrari began in the mid-1980s.