Foreign exchange operator Travelex has axed its &£7m sponsorship of the Toyota Formula One racing team just two years into its five-year deal, dismissing the sport as lacking a global audience.
The decision comes after a shift in corporate strategy towards establishing its brand identity in the North American market. Formula One does not have the popularity in the US that it enjoys elsewhere in the world, leading Travelex to search for specifically American marketing alternatives.
Anthony Wagerman, head of group marketing at Travelex, says the aim of the Toyota deal was to create a stronger brand presence in Europe and Asia. He adds: “With the change in strategy it no longer makes sense to continue with Toyota and Formula One, which goes unnoticed in North America.”
The deal included a brand logo on the racing car, and Travelex also provided foreign exchange services for the racing team.
The company already owns a number of sponsorships aimed at Europe and Asia, including a &£1m sponsorship of ITV’s coverage of the rugby World Cup and a &£10m deal with the Australian cricket team.
Wagerman adds that no decision has been made on whether Travelex will continue with its sponsorship-based marketing strategy in the US. He says: “It is difficult to find a sponsorship opportunity that will appeal across a country the size of America.”