Sponsor money ‘up 25%’

Business F1 magazine have reported that F1 sponsorship revenue leapt by 25% in 2005 to a staggering US$2.5bn (UK???1.4bn). Kevin Eason in The Times attributes the growth to the good season’s racing we saw in 2005:

Alonso’s World Championship success last season, followed by a spectacular first race of 2006 in Bahrain, has signalled a resurgence in the fortunes of the sport. Viewers are returning in droves, while sponsors are flocking back.

Nick Heidfeld, BMW, Bahrain, 2006But is the real motivation for new sponsors coming to the sport not the quality of racing last year, but the decline in tobacco sponsorship? Many of these ‘blue chip’ companies would not accept having their logos tainted by association with Marlboro, Mild Seven and the like.

Since dropping West, McLaren-Mercedes have snagged Vodafone from Marlboro-backed Ferrari. The likes of Intel have deliberately sought out teams like BMW who have no tobacco sponsorship.

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