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No 2018 title sponsor deal for McLaren

  • Published on 19 Dec 2017 12:39
  • comments 12
  • By: Fergal Walsh

McLaren executive director Zak Brown has stated that McLaren will not have a title sponsor next season. When the American joined the team in 2016, he outlined the need for them to sign a title sponsor, setting 2018 as the target year.

However, Brown says that there are plenty of potential backers in the frame, rather than a title sponsorship deal. Former McLaren boss Ron Dennis previously offered his thoughts on how title sponsorship is no longer a factor in F1. Brown now agrees with Dennis' beliefs, despite Red Bulland Sauber acquiring title sponsors for next season.

"I don't think we're going to have a title sponsor per se," said Brown. "What I think we're going to have are major partners. If you look at F1 no one really refers to the name of the team's title partner, so I don't think there's a lot of value. We're McLaren, we're not ABC McLaren.

"There's major branding, but we don't want to sell the title, we want to remain the name of the team – McLaren. In NASCAR the drivers are trained to get out of the car and say, 'I'd like to thank my Chandon Ford today.' That doesn't happen in F1, so we want to protect our brand."

Teams need to back Liberty Media

Brown also spoke about the need for teams to support Liberty Media. F1's commercial rights holders reduced the amount of prize money that was distributed this year, eyeing up investment opportunities which will benefit the sport in the long-term.

While the deal hasn't gone down well with some teams, Brown has got behind Liberty Media and its ideology, urging others to do the same: "We want there to be as much prize money as possible. We knew there was going to be some investment, I think a few people are getting a little too excited.

"They're [Liberty] not even one year into it, they've bought something that had lots of elements that were broken and you're not going to repair a broken leg in two weeks. I think the direction is the right direction, I think their intentions are the right intentions. It's going to take a little bit of time and I think we need to give them support and work with them and maybe be a little less critical and more constructive."

 

Fergal Walsh

Replies (12)

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  • Can't believe a team principal would say this - ''If you look at F1 no one really refers to the name of the team's title partner, so I don't think there's a lot of value. We're McLaren, we're not ABC McLaren''.......you've just told the world it's a title naming is waste - what a silly thing to do, I now think this guy is a joker.

    • + 0
    • Dec 19 2017 - 13:06
    • Well he has a point. If a team can bring in enough money and protect the name of the team, its a win win

      • + 0
      • Dec 19 2017 - 13:14
    • You think potential sponsors don't know that themselves? Title sponsorship is just a little extra, what matters is having your logo on the car and on the drivers and getting to do some promo.

      • + 0
      • Dec 19 2017 - 13:48
    • Barron

      Posts: 625

      I think Zak Brown is just spinning his own story here. He is a marketing expert above all else and promised a 2018 title sponsor (like Ron Dennis before him) He failed, but at least he didn’t re-promise for next year but instead has settled for a typical ‘Ronspeak’ type solution which sounds fine until you realise they’ve still only got half a dozen small sponsors that aren’t worth 50 bob between them. How are they managing to survive?

      • + 0
      • Dec 20 2017 - 09:44
  • of course, he will back Liberty media.

    • + 0
    • Dec 19 2017 - 16:52
  • I think Zak is one of the more creative minds on the paddock, however this strikes me as an excuse for not managing to get a proper sponsor. I hope I am wrong. I can't wait for McLaren to be properly sponsored again. The last few years have been embarrassing not only on the performance side, but the car's lack of sponsorship made it look like an HRT

    • + 0
    • Dec 19 2017 - 20:14
    • That was the vibe I got from it aswell. Underplaying it so that it doesnt seem like such a huge blow. Mercedes, Williams, Force India, heck even Red Bull have title sponsors, so to say that its not a thing in F1 anymore is bull.

      • + 1
      • Dec 20 2017 - 08:07
    • In 2017, only Mercedes and Williams had title sponsors. Force India and Red Bull were named after owners, not sponsors. In 2018 Sauber and Red Bull are getting title sponsors too, but still, it's the exception rather than the rule nowadays.

      • + 0
      • Dec 20 2017 - 10:18
    • As a matter of fact, Red Bull Did have a title sponsor in 2017 in the shape of Aston Martin, even if it hardly changed e.g their livery. Force India didnt rename themselves BWT, true, but then again this sponsorship happened after the team name for 2017 was registered, and the livery was mainly based around BWT. In all but name, BWT was their title sponsor.

      • + 0
      • Dec 20 2017 - 20:40
  • f1ski

    Posts: 539

    Title Sponsors won't sign with a team that they feel won't give them a return

    • + 0
    • Dec 19 2017 - 21:16
    • Barron

      Posts: 625

      Yes but you have to wonder if Ron Dennis’s tough stance on sponsorship drove many potential customers away who have now gone for other teams. He stuck out for big bucks to replace the likes of Vodaphone, their last major sponsor worth many millions per year. Bernie E also pulled a fast one by creaming off potential F1 team sponsors for FOM TV and trackside exposure. That was very naughty of him and it took a lot of potential cash from the teams.. so McLaren seem to have become ‘victims’ of a dual prong whammy: Ron Dennis & Bernie Ecclestone.

      • + 0
      • Dec 20 2017 - 09:38
    • AFAIH, Honda brought several potential big, not necessarily title big but big, names to the table, but few signed due to them not wanting to cooperate with Dennis. So I can certainly agree that it seems like Dennis didnt help the cause in getting a sponsor.

      • + 0
      • Dec 20 2017 - 20:42

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