VTB Group became the title partner of the Russian stage of the Formula 1 (F1) Grand Prix in 2017, VTB and the Russian competition operator Omega Center (also owns the race track in Sochi, where the race takes place), reported. Now the Russian stage will be called “Formula 1 VTB Russian Grand Prix”; this year it will take place on April 28-30.
The parties did not disclose the cost of the contract. An expert familiar with the rules of partnership of such competitions believes that the transaction amount can be several tens of millions of dollars.
The right to be the title sponsor of such a large-scale international project opens up new prospects for both the VTB Group and the Russian stage of the F1 World Championship, Vasily Titov, First Deputy President and Chairman of VTB Management Board, quoted in a statement. It also states that thanks to the cooperation, the group received additional advertising, marketing and communication opportunities.
Half of the ongoing national F1 stages have title partners, says the promoter of the Russian F1 stage Sergey Vorobyov. True, according to him, usually these are companies that are global partners of F1. So, in Australia and Great Britain it is Rolex, in Hungary and Belgium – Pirelli, in Bahrain – Gulf Air, in Singapore – Singapore Airlines, in Malaysia – Petronas, in the UAE – Etihad Airways, in China and Italy – Heineken.
The fact that the Russian company in the fourth year of the competition was able to conclude such a deal is a good sign for the development of the event in Russia in the future, Vorobyov said. When it comes to state-owned brands – and VTB undoubtedly belongs to such brands, sponsorship is considered here primarily as one of the channels for spending on its mass promotion, notes Alexey Andreev, Managing Partner of Depot WPF. Although for such well-known companies it is rather a communication of other values, the expert believes: participation in such an event is prestigious for the group at the global level, and also helps to increase the loyalty of the authorities to the group.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak reported that the Sochi stage of F1 in 2017 will have about 10 investors, including Lukoil, VTB and Rusal. With their help, the Omega Center will be able to fully cover the fee for the right to host competitions this year. “We plan to install this model for many years to come,” Vorobyov said at the time. He did not disclose the size of financial agreements for investors, noting that they are individual.