New McLaren executive Zak Brown is working hard to secure a title sponsor for the team, and insists it’s imperative a deal is done by 2018.
Brown was brought in by McLaren to head its commercial efforts in Formula 1, focusing his work on signing a major sponsor for a team which hasn’t enjoyed one since partner Vodafone departed at the end of 2013.
Brown believes McLaren has retained its commercial appeal despite its persisting lean years, but also admits that a sense of urgency prevails.
“The deal needs to be done in 2018,” he told Autocar.
“We can’t go much longer than that. This season is already finished because, realistically, it takes a year working with a big corporation to get the right deal.
“We’re already working hard but, to the naked eye, there may be relatively little progress through 2017. But next year should be a game changer for us”
While the team is banking on regaining its former luster some time down the road, in the interim Brown remains confident that a nine-figure multi-year commercial partnership will soon be in te works.
“McLaren is a brand unlike any other,” he declares. “It has a sense of timelessness and heritage richer than anyone else’s, except maybe the red guys.
“We have great resources, and we help our partners develop their own businesses – with technology, marketing, branding know-how. It’s not just stickers on race cars.”
The American also insists that Formula 1 itself, as it enters a period of new guidance under fresh ownership, is still a great place to be for companies which share common values.
“You get global notoriety, delivered very efficiently. Some say it’s expensive, but if you break down what it offers across the world, F1 isn’t expensive at all.
“Want to prove that? Try buying TV advertising in 200 countries. F1’s global reach is amazing.”
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