There Ferrari and the Philip Morris they share the longest lasting partnership in F1, a partnership that began in 1973, after the Marlboro brand became the world’s best-selling cigarette brand in 1972. Initially at the behest of Drake Enzo Ferrari, the logo appeared only on helmets and overalls and not on the car, ‘positioning’ that changed starting in 1984 when the brand appeared for the first time also on the livery of the single-seaters made in Maranello. The big leap came in 1997, when Marlboro became title sponsor of Scuderia Ferrari, signing the golden five-year anniversary with Michael Schumacher at the wheel. Over the years, tobacco-related sponsorships in F1 have become increasingly fraught with obstacles, with the Marlboro brand initially transformed into a barcode and then starting in 2018 with the arrival of the Mission Winnow brand on Ferraris. The agreement between Ferrari and Philip Morris, which expires in 2021, has not yet been renewed and, according to what was recently declared by team principal Mattia Binotto Mission Winnow, it may no longer be the title sponsor of Ferrari as happened in the last three seasons. Below are some excerpts from the considerations by the journalist Dieter Rencken published in the English newspaper racefans.net, who underlines how Ferrari does not have great worries in the face of the possible loss of the title sponsor Mission Winnow.
“[…] Philip Morris has used his relationship with Ferrari since 2011 as a business-to-business platform for major commercial clients rather than direct marketing to consumers. ‘Mission Winnow’ is a corporate message rather than a product slogan. There are no reasons why these benefits cannot continue in the future […] Sponsorship has evolved to a level where primary benefits come not from ‘crude’ adhesives but from personal relationships cultivated over the course of partnerships […] Ferrari has long been aware that the partnership may not be extended and has no doubt studied contingency plans to deal with such an eventuality […] The agreement made with Amazon Web Services is an example of this […] As a result of the budget cap, any reduction in sponsorship revenue will have little if any direct impact on track performance […] From the previous 500 million dollars budget, of which 300 under the heading ‘operations on the track’, it has gone to 145 in 2021 with the duty to lower this ceiling to 135 in 2023. […] Also for this reason, Ferrari has accepted the arrival of the budget cap in F1, because it is a guaranteed shock absorber against any losses in terms of sponsorships. […] All this suggests that Ferrari will abandon ‘Mission Winnow’ as title sponsor next year and perhaps even return to a more scarlet livery after racing for years in what is known as ‘Marlboro Red’. […]”.
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