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Zak Brown explains how McLaren Racing wins sponsorship race

Unlike stick and ball leagues, individual motorsport teams rely heavily on sponsorship deals to fund racing efforts. For McLaren, being engaged in multiple racing platforms provides multiple options for companies to gain the widest exposure.

Largely founded by Formula 1 driver Bruce McLaren in the 1960s, the company became McLaren Racing Limited with its own consumer car division. On the racing side, McLaren is currently involved in several disciplines including Formula 1, IndyCar, the off-road electric vehicle series, Extreme E, and soon their entry into Formula E.

From a sponsorship perspective, each of these racing platforms offers companies a way to target certain markets and industries. If you’re a business that focuses on renewable energy, there are Extreme E and Formula E options, with both series having a global schedule. Looking to focus more on the United States? Sponsorship around the Arrow McLaren SP team may make more sense. Looking to go global with the widest audience? A company can seek to sponsor around Formula 1.

But the biggest advantage McLaren Racing can have is that all racing teams create multiple options for companies by presenting a portfolio with which companies can choose to straddle one or more of the McLaren racing efforts and different tiers within them. .

“If you look at ARROW Electronics, our title sponsor in IndyCar, they have become one of the sponsors of our Formula 1 team,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said, citing several examples of sponsors. “Google
who recently joined our Formula 1 team joined our Extreme E team. Dell from our Formula 1 team also joined our Extreme E team. Tezos
joined our Formula 1 team, then joined our IndyCar team, so we provide options to customize our sponsor exposure. Our portfolio of racing activities aims to provide opportunities for our partners. If you want to call America, join our IndyCar team. If you want to use sustainability as a broader platform or gender equality comes with our Formula E or Extreme E team. So it’s all about customization for our partners on how they want to leverage a relationship with McLaren Racing.

Review of McLaren’s sponsor partners in Formula 1, IndyCarWhere E extreme confirms it. The sponsor portfolio is deep, diverse and often split between racing teams, giving McLaren a well of financial resources in which to stay not only sustainable but competitive. Whether NEO
M on the renewable side, Dell in all, Tezos with F1 and IndyCar, Sun God with F1 and Extreme E, or Mission and Vuse for IndyCar only, the model offers an advantage that few other teams have (and explains some of the reason Andretti Motorsports would like to get into Formula 1).

Not all racing companies will have the resources – or even the desire – to go down this path. But those who wish to have the greatest reach with advantages in the development of certain technologies that can end up in mainstream vehicles may well follow the direction McLaren is taking.

Further notes from Zak Brown….

There have been rumors that with the Extreme E effort, McLaren may be looking to enter the luxury SUV market, much like Porsche and Maserati have done. Brown dodged the question when I asked about it: “It’s a separate aspect of our business. It is our sister company; the automotive group. What I can say is that we made the decision to go Extreme E regardless of any plans McLaren Automotive has or doesn’t have with its lineup of vehicles. Obviously electrification is very important to them, but I cannot confirm or deny any range of [consumer] models. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me.


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