Williams Martini Racing forms

Martini and Williams have today announced a multi-year partnership to create the new Formula One team Williams Martini Racing.

The news was presented alongside the new Williams Martini Racing Formula One car and 2014 driver team – headed by Felipe Massa – at a London event hosted by television presenters Jake Humphrey and Jodie Kidd and attended by a throng of media.

According to Martini the partnership “provides a powerful, integrated marketing platform and delivers dynamic opportunities that will strengthen the Martini brand”.

The deal sees Martini gain exclusive naming rights, while Martini’s racing stripes will adorn the Williams Mercedes FW36 race car and the drivers’ and crew’s kit. The Martini Terrazza, a rooftop destination in the track paddock, will also be introduced for 2014.

Off track, Martini plan “experiential activations” around key races. Promotional, licensed merchandise will also be available for fans as the race season gets underway in two weeks time.

Sandy Mayo, senior global category director of vermouth and sparkling wines at Bacardi declined to disclose the value of the sponsorship but said “it’s a significant and unprecedented investment from Martini”.

Mayo said about the sponsorship: “It’s important to have people talking about Martini in Europe and also growing Martini’s footprint globally.”  She added that the exposure may also help to engage with a new, younger generation of consumers.

Frank Williams, founder and team principal of Williams said: “Williams and Martini share a rich history in the world of motorsport, and the values of our two brands and our shared passion for racing make this partnership a natural fit. It will be great to see the distinctive stripes of Martini Racing return to Formula One.”

Matini was heavily involved in motor racing sponsorship in the 1960 and 1970s. From 2006-2008 Martini sponsored Ferrari.