Dennis talks sponsorship


As McLaren team up with Michael Kors, the team’s newest sponsor, Ron Dennis says Formula One’s title sponsor model no longer works given today’s numbers.

McLaren last had a title sponsor on their MP4 F1 cars in 2013 after which they parted ways with Vodafone.

Since then the Woking outfit has featured a number of big-names sponsors, but none as a traditional title sponsor.

“The sponsorship model changes year on year and for many years it was about a predominant brand on a grand prix car,” McLaren CEO Dennis told F1 journalist James Allen.

“The activation budget needs to match the investment and the numbers in Formula 1 have gone up and up and up.

“[When] you then start looking at funding and racing, it becomes so expensive that no one company can put it together. So what we’ve done over the years is go down the path of different types of comparable products that sit comfortably here with a common objective.

“We’ve been very much focused on brands and the long-term, rather than short term [as] a dominant force on the car.”

Speaking specifically about the Michael Kors deal, Dennis said: “Our search for a fashion brand has been very much focused on a brand that lives by the same sort of brand principals and values as ourselves. It’s an honour to have Michael Kors on the car because of what it stands for.

“We have to under-promise and over deliver on our side of things and then the whole thing will just take on a natural scope.”