Statement on Chelsea F.C's official website today:
Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce a groundbreaking partnership with the Sauber F1 Team, bringing together two of global sport's biggest names.
The unique partnership forges a relationship between two internationally successful teams with fantastic heritage who share the same excitement and passion for performance, bringing unique content and experiences to football and F1 fans.
The Premier League and Formula 1 are the most watched sports around the globe and with 20 F1 races in 2012 spread right across the world, the excitement of F1 is set to reach almost half of the planet's population, ensuring Chelsea's exposure to many more than the already record worldwide numbers tuning in to watch Premier League action.
The new partnership is focused on ways to enhance sporting and business performance. This includes the exchange of knowledge in sport science, launching joint commercial initiatives, merchandising, events, marketing and linked sponsorship opportunities.
Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said: 'This is an innovative partnership that will see a football club link up with an F1 team like never before, bringing together two of the world's biggest sports and uniting our fans.
'We felt that this Swiss team, the fourth oldest of the existing teams, reflects our own ideals perfectly.
Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO of the Sauber F1 Team, added: 'A partnership like this between Formula 1 and football has never existed before in this form, yet there are numerous commonalities and possible synergies. In either case we are talking about team sport at the highest - and international - level. The Sauber F1 Team and Chelsea FC are dealing with many of the same sporting and commercial topics and we want to strengthen each other in these areas.'
Do you think this partnership between football & F1 will be a success? What are the potential benefits/pitfalls of this deal? Are football clubs looking to expand into untested marketing ventures (like alternative sports), in order to create fresh revenue streams? Is this a risk for Chelsea F.C or does this deal represent a chance to boost inevitable profits? Will more football clubs follow Chelsea's lead if the deal proves to be beneficial in the coming years?