The McLaren team have announced a deal which will see them enter a sponsorship agreement with the British American Tobacco company, the former owners of BAR.
McLaren have announced a global partnership with British American Tobacco, which the team say is a multi-year agreement focused on BAT’s ‘potentially reduced risk products’.
According to the press release, the deal is set to focus on ‘accelerating BAT’s transforming agenda, leveraging its portfolio of potentially reduced risk products, aiming to deliver the world’s tobacco and nicotine consumers a better tomorrow.’
This is a similar deal to the one Ferrari have opened with long-time partners Philip Morris International, who, instead of advertising their Marlboro brand, are instead advertising ‘Mission Winnow’ – this also being an initiative focused on an alternative to tobacco smoking. However, it appears that this new trend of advertising tobacco companies’ non-tobacco products will be met with some resistance. The Australian government is investigating the Ferrari deal, which PMI say they feel is completely above board.
According to McLaren, the deal will see BAT work with McLaren company Applied Technologies on areas like battery technology and ‘advanced materials’ and will share ‘best practice, innovation know-how and mutual experience’.
BAT were the company that funded the takeover of the Tyrrell team to become BAR in 1998, racing in F1 between 1999 & 2006 before being bought out entirely by Honda.
“We welcome BAT to the McLaren team and support their ambition of delivering meaningful and lasting change through innovation.” welcomed McLaren CEO Zak Brown. “BAT’s transformation agenda is central to this partnership and we are pleased to share our technical experience and expertise in helping to accelerate this.”
Kingsley Wheaton, Chief Marketing Officer at BAT, said: “We’re extremely proud and excited about this new partnership, further enabling us to accelerate the pace at which we innovate and transform ourselves. It gives us a truly global platform with which to drive greater resonance of our potentially reduced risk products, including our Vype, Vuse and glo brands. Ultimately, innovation and technology will support us in creating a better tomorrow’ for our consumers worldwide.”