Telecom Italia has signed a three-year, &£25m-a-year deal to sponsor the Ferrari Formula 1 (F1) team.
The company’s broadband provider, Alice, has signed as a main team sponsor, guaranteeing its logo a prominent presence on the Ferrari car.
The move confirms speculation that the Italian telecoms group was interested in acquiring a Formula 1 sponsorship property (MW January 12) to raise its profile.
The company was tipped to move into F1, as it was already involved with the MotoGP motorcycle championship as an official partner of the Marlboro-backed Ducati team. Marlboro-owner Philip Morris controls the Ferrari F1 team’s sponsorship packages.
The deal follows Vodafone’s decision to sever its ties with Ferrari and switch to rival F1 team McLaren.
Last year Philip Morris renewed its deal with Ferrari until 2011, despite the fact that most tracks now enforce a ban on tobacco advertising.