$15,000,000,000 Partner Hailed by Oscar Piastri for Rescuing McLaren From Shambles

Published 09/06/2023, 7:45 AM EDT

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via Reuters

In a season where McLaren’s fortunes have swung like a pendulum, one partner seems to have anchored their ship in the right harbor: the Hilton Group. F1 is a sport where split-second decisions and top-notch performance matter. What often goes unseen, however, is the critical role played by key partners behind the scenes. For McLaren’s sensational turnaround in the 2023 season, one partner stands out in particular: Hilton Hotels. With being valued at a whopping $15 billion, Hilton has done more than just sponsor a team; it has offered a crucial element in the grand recipe for McLaren’s resurgence. As it’s not just engineering prowess and driving skill, that’s turning the tide; Oscar Piastri points toward Hilton as a “massive factor in their performance.”

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McLaren’s journey has been nothing short of a roller coaster. After kicking off the season with a car that was abysmally slow, the Woking-based outfit clawed its way back to become a force to reckon with. Lando Norris scored back-to-back P2 finishes in Britain and Hungary, putting the spotlight back on the team. But a crucial factor that has been easy to overlook is the Hilton partnership. Going strong since 2005, the relationship took on new heights with Hilton’s multi-year extension last year, emphasizing the critical importance of off-track arrangements in F1. Interestingly, heiress Paris Hilton has also been a vocal supporter of the McLaren-Hilton partnership. A self-confessed motorsports aficionado, Paris has been spotted at several GPs, bringing an additional layer of glamour and media attention that has indirectly benefited the team’s branding and sponsorship value.

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Oscar Piastri recently shed light on how this monumental Hilton partnership has directly impacted the team’s performance. “Hilton are a massive factor in our performance. Being an F1 driver is incredibly busy, and yeah—having good recovery, good rest, somewhere where you can relax, escape the excitement of the world of F1 because you can’t handle it 24/7, is super important,” said Piastri. It turns out that comfort, recovery, and a ‘home away from home’ experience provided by Hilton aren’t just fringe benefits; they’re performance enhancers. He went on to jokingly warn, “If Hilton aren’t careful enough, I might steal this [comfort pillow] and take it to the track with me.” 

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While it’s easy to get caught up in the roar of the engines, the strategy calls, and the on-track action, sometimes it’s the factors behind the scenes that make the real difference. As McLaren aims to secure its standing in the second half of the season, the alliance with Hilton could well be their ace in the hole. But it’s not just McLaren that’s reaping benefits.

Hilton’s strategic sponsorship with McLaren

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While Hilton’s presence in F1 initially might seem like just another sponsorship deal, there’s an aspect to their partnership with McLaren that underscores their innovative approach to brand engagement and customer loyalty. In an industry where customer loyalty schemes are becoming increasingly crucial, Hilton uses its F1 partnership for more than just brand exposure. The alliance serves as an engine to fuel Hilton Honors, their loyalty program, offering members unique experiences related to F1 that they can bid for using points.

Ian Carter, the driving force behind Hilton’s McLaren partnership, elucidates, “Through our Partnership with the McLaren F1 Team, we not only aim to acquire new members but also use the Partnership to reward almost 70 million members who stay in our properties.” From bidding for race suits to experiencing the Grand Prix weekend like a driver, Hilton has transformed its sponsorship into a multifaceted tool for customer engagement and retention.

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WATCH THIS STORY | How Oscar Piastri Has Made a Scintillating Rise to the Pinnacle of Motorsport

What are your thoughts on the importance of a leisurely rest for an F1 driver?

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Written by:

Vidhita

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Vidhita is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. Driven by her deep passion for motorsports and a love for the exhilaration of speed. Since 2016, she has been captivated by the world of F1 after watching a race with a relative, and her fascination has only grown stronger over the years.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare

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