Benetton Formula One motor racing team has appointed David Warren as its new director of marketing.
He takes over from John Postlethwaite, who becomes chief executive officer of BFI as revealed in Marketing Week (March 28). BFI is a new sports sponsorship division within Benfield, the late Matthew Harding’s reinsurance company.
Warren joins from his own sports marketing consultancy company, The Pier Group. Previously, he was in the sponsorship departments of Camel and Cannon. He is also a former Olympic athlete.
Warren’s job will be to keep existing sponsors on the car, as well as filling any slot that becomes vacant. The cost of running a team of Benetton’s size is about 40m a year.
Warren says that although Postlethwaite left the team halfway through the season he has not left the organisation in the lurch.
“In many ways it was the best time for John to leave. The deals for this season have been done; that gives me time to work myself in before trying to get these sponsors to sign on again for another year,” says Warren.
However, Matthew Patten, chief executive officer of M&C Saatchi Sponsorship, who works for the Benson & Hedges Jordan car, is one of many observers who says the team has problems on and off the track.
Patten says: “The team has to get back to the winning ways it had under Michael Schumacher two years ago. There has also been a lot of speculation that the team will be put up for sale by Benetton. He will have to convince backers that the company has a consistent and secure face.”