Ferrari Re-sign Marlboro While Team Lotus Reveal GE Partnership

June 15, 2011

Ferrari has extended its partnership with Marlboro, a brand of tobacco company Philip Morris, for another four years, despite cigarette advertising being banned in Formula One.

Marlboro has been Ferrari’s title sponsor for the past 14 years, although the logo has not appeared on the F1 car for the last 4 of those since the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix. 

The Formula One team signed its current deal with the tobacco company in 2005, with the new deal extending the partnership until the end of 2015. The previous deal was due to expire at the end of this year.

Anti-tobacco advertising legislation forced the Marlboro logo off the F1 car but has not prevented the company from renewing their backing of the world renowned team. The sport’s most successful team removed a controversial barcode design last year, following claims the subliminal advertising hinted at the Marlboro brand – however, the team still refers to itself as ‘Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro’.

Meanwhile, General Electric has become Formula One’s Team Lotus’ new partner, and the GE brand will be seen on the team’s cars and across the race and factory structures starting from the British Grand Prix next month.

A Team Lotus statement read: “The partnership with GE provides extensive brand and business benefits to both parties, giving GE a high-profile global platform to showcase advanced technologies and providing Team Lotus with leading edge technological, R&D and manufacturing resources that will help accelerate the team’s progress, on and off track.”

Team principal Tony Fernandes said the signing was a “resounding endorsement of the remarkable development” of the team and added that they were exploring some initiatives including future automotive electrification technologies, materials sciences, design processes and core engineering competencies.

Fernandes added: “In short, we have a huge array of platforms to work across driven by passionate people in both organisations who can’t wait to put their collective imagination to work.”

Whilst, Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO for GE added: “We are excited to sponsor Team Lotus and continue our relationship with Tony Fernandes. We have worked with Tony for many years and know his commitment to the aviation business. The global appeal and popularity of Formula One provides a unique opportunity for GE and we look forward to great things from Tony again as we become part of his team.”

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