Formula 1 announces global partnership with Heineken

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Dutch beer company Heineken has become a new global partner of Formula 1 following the announcement of a long-mooted multi-year deal on Thursday in Montreal.

Reports in the weeks leading up to the Canadian Grand Prix weekend suggested that Formula One Management was on the verge of announcing a new ground-breaking sponsorship agreement with Heineken. The details of the deal were made public on Thursday.

As a global partner of F1, Heineken will enjoy title partnership for three races per season from 2017 onwards.

It will also be the title partner for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza this September, which will formally be known as the Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken D’Italia 2016.

Heineken will also be present at F1 events as the sport’s exclusive global beer partner, but will not be present on any of the cars.

Heineken and Formula One Management will also work closely together on promoting road safety and the informing people of the dangers of drink-driving.

“Heineken will create fully integrated global F1 ‘Open your World’ manifesto and “If You Drive, Never Drink” campaigns,” a statement announcing the deal reads.

“Activations will include F1 circuit branding, TV commercials, digital activations, live fan experiences and events, dedicated PR initiatives, and packaging/point-of-sale activations. David Coulthard and Sir Jackie Stewart will be ambassadors for the respective campaigns.”

“Formula One is bigger than a race. It is a global event. F1 represents a unique opportunity for Heineken to engage with existing and potential consumers in important growth markets,” Heineken senior director global Gianluca Di Tondo said.

“F1 delivers in three specific areas; strong commercial opportunities; expansion of our responsible drinking platform in new and innovative ways; and enabling skill transfers between F1 and our employees.

“This partnership complements our existing global platforms, enabling us to reach F1’s huge spectator numbers and 400 million unique television viewers every year.

“The hallmark of our long and successful relationships with UEFA Champions League, Rugby World Cup and the James Bond franchise is our passion to excite our consumers. We will be bringing this passion to Formula One.”

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone added: “Heineken is a premium international brand with a super reputation for first class marketing. I am very pleased to welcome them to the Formula One family and look forward to the scale and quality of their activation at and away from F1 Events.

“We are both in the innovation and enjoyment business and I hope that this is the start of a long and special relationship. When I have a beer, I have always been happy with a Heineken.

“Some time ago I started a ‘Think Before You Drive’ campaign at F1 Events. I am pleased that this important initiative now has such strong and committed support from Heineken, through its “If You Drive, Never Drink” campaign.

“We will now evolve and reinforce these messages in a way that reflects the Heineken personality and values.”

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III