McLaren pinch Unilever sponsor away from Williams

Mark Scott


Williams has confirmed their partnership with major sponsors Unilever has come to an end, who are now sponsors of McLaren.

Reports circulated at the start of the week that Williams had lost another sponsor in Unilever after Polish oil company Orlen, who back Williams’ ex-driver Robert Kubica, became co-title sponsors at Alfa Romeo in a deal which also saw Kubica become reserve driver for the 2020 season.

Unilever used the partnership to promote their Rexona deodorant brand which featured prominently on the Williams car, but reports suggested that deal was not renewed ahead of the new campaign, while sponsorships with Symantec, Omnitude and Tata Communications also ended.

Williams has now acknowledged the end of the Unilever deal via social media.

The blow of Williams’ loss of sponsors has been cushioned somewhat by Michael Latifi, father of new Williams driver, Nicholas, providing cash injections with a new, expanded deal with his food product manufacturing company Sofina Foods.

Under the Sofina Foods umbrella is the coffee bran, Lavazza, who are now also an official partner.

As Williams announced the end, McLaren issued a press release saying that they have now entered a ‘multi-year technical partnership’ with Unilever.

“McLaren and Unilever are two organisations with a global reputation for innovating, inspiring and leading in the technology industry,” McLaren CEO Zak Brown said.

“For more than 50 years, McLaren has been an innovator in engineering and the driving force behind cutting-edge technological firsts and pioneering breakthroughs.

“This partnership allows us to share knowledge and expertise between two global organisations, developing in integral areas to both businesses. We are looking forward to starting this partnership in the 2020 season.”

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