Heineken is set to enter Formula 1 as a major series sponsor in a five-year deal believed to be worth $150m. The brewery giant will have a significant trackside presence from this year’s Canadian Grand Prix and will not be replacing any existing trackside sponsors such as Rolex or Pirelli.
Although sources close to the deal would not comment on the record, the agreement is said to have been reached directly between Formula One Management and Heineken, which has previously enjoyed high-profile partnerships with Champions League Football and the Rugby World Cup.
Unusually for a trackside deal, the Heineken arrangement is said to include provision for a degree of partnership with an F1 team. Several teams have been issued with Requests For Proposals from Heineken, whereby the team making the best pitch to the brewer would receive its revenues. It is likely therefore that the successful team will carry some kind of Heineken branding.
Behind-the-scenes paddock and garage access is extremely valuable to any sponsor wishing to gain maximum value from its involvement.
A source close to the deal said: “This is great news for Formula 1. It’s a high-profile brand committing cash and credibility and that can only be good for the sport.”