McLaren: Attracting sponsors 'as hard as ever'

  • 15 Jan 2019 15:12
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

McLaren CEO Zak Brown admits that attracting sponsors is as hard as its ever been in the face of global financial uncertainties. However, the American confirmed that the team is set to announce two new sponsors prior to the start of the 2019 season.

McLaren has not run with a title sponsor since 2013, when Vodafone partnered the Woking squad, In recent years, it has slipped towards the back of the field but has still managed to maintain a strong negotiating hand, with soft drink corporation Coca-Cola joining for the final rounds of the 2018 campaign.

Brown confirmed late last year that McLaren was in talks with Coca-Cola over a long-term deal, but admitted that drawing in companies has become increasingly difficult as they are "nervous" to invest capital amid the "craziness that's going on around the world".


“It’s as hard as it’s ever been," Brown said. "Cooperations are a bit nervous to invest long term because they are not quite sure if something happens over here what does that mean. It does put everything into a bit of a slowdown and holding pattern.” 

But Brown remained grateful for the sponsors that McLaren brought in for the 2018 season: "We were fortunate to bring on about five new partners last year, and we’ll announce another at least two this month that we’ve signed so we are making good progress,” he said. “It certainly hasn’t come to a stop but it’s slowed things down and some of the craziness that’s going on around the world doesn’t help.”

McLaren is one of F1's seven teams that are based in the United Kingdom, where concerns are being raised over the potential ramifications that could come as a result of Brexit, which is set to occur later this year.

Replies (8)

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  • mcbhargav

    Posts: 846

    Being complacent has its consequences ( like in 2013). Hang in there, and keep it going like Sauber, and the advertisers would swarm like bees for that sweet real estate on your future car.

    • + 0
    • Jan 15 2019 - 17:11
  • ENDR

    Posts: 43

    It's A LOT easier when you have a fast car and a superstar driver, but... Yyeah, not having one deprived you of the other :|

    • + 2
    • Jan 15 2019 - 17:37
  • Its a bit weird how teams like McLaren and Williams, these big giants with deep roots in F1, seem to have a much harder time to attract sponsors than the likes of Haas, even when it goes well for them. Looking at it, Even in the Mercedes hybrid era, Williams didnt exactly have an all that impressive portfolio of sponsors, while Force India and Haas has been able to scrape together some pretty hefty deals. And McLaren is the worst offender, not even being able to secure a title sponsor since Vodafone left them.

    • + 0
    • Jan 15 2019 - 18:59
    • Well first of all, I think it's an abomination to put Williams and McLaren in the same category. I think Williams is damn near going out of business. McLaren is in trouble performance-wise, but commercially they are still well funded. McLaren's problem for years was not lowering the sponsorship rate because they still viewed themselves as a top team. It took Zak Brown replacing Ron Dennis to change that and now it's changing.

      I think the comparison to Haas, or Force India is not apt, because those guys will take any sponsor and will do it for a fraction of the price. McLaren is extremely selective regarding sponsors because they have a brand to protect. BWT would be an eyesore on a McLaren, but it's a lucrative deal with Force India for example. Williams has the same problem but to a much lesser extent because they don't produce road cars.

      I still think that Europe made a big mistake banning advertisement of Tobacco and alcohol (to a lesser degree). For such a liberal part of the world, it's shocking to me that you guys allow naked women on billboards, but not a Marlboro logo.

      • + 0
      • Jan 15 2019 - 20:52
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,034

      Any business that fails to adjust runs the risk of being doomed. Williams will have to look at what is working from a business point of view and focus on that. I hope that Williams will be OK since it looks like they are changing.

      • + 0
      • Jan 16 2019 - 07:40
    • kngrthr

      Posts: 198

      naked women don't kill millions of people each year.

      having said that , if the f' witts who put burning cancer sticks in their mouth want to fund my sport, then let 'em

      • + 0
      • Jan 16 2019 - 09:14
    • @AJPP, alcohol sponsors are still allowed, which is why Martini and Johnnie Walker is around.

      Im sure many of them still do give teams cash behind the scenes. Marlboro do for sure. What I think is weird is that the casino industry havent gotten stickers on a car yet afaik. Are they too banned?

      • + 0
      • Jan 16 2019 - 12:38
    • @KNGRTHR @Calle

      Well, if we're going to get technical, tobacco doesn't kill anyone on its own. But I get your point. Mine was about the hypocrisy of these pseudo-morality some politicians push. It's just particularly curious, because as puritanical as the U.S. seems compared to Europe, we don't seem to have a problem here advertising anything.

      @Calle, you're right, alcohol is still allowed, but I know that many sponsors dropped out when they found out that there were restrictions in several countries hosting events. I was thinking more about that. But you're correct, alcohol is not banned.

      In general, I think advertising in the form of stickers and logos is a pretty harmless. You don't really have to advertise to the stupid kids that decide to take up on fags while in school. Or to get blacked-out drunk. But I readily admit that I don't really care about taking dumb people's money who consume these stuff to fund my favourite sport.

      • + 0
      • Jan 16 2019 - 23:28

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