Coca-Cola enters F1 with Lotus tie-up

Coca-Cola is to enter Formula One through a multi-year sponsorship deal of the Lotus Team as the brand looks to raise the global profile of its energy drink Burn.

Drinks business bids to raise the profile of its energy drink brand Burn through Lotus Formula One team sponsorship deal.

The logo for the drink, a red flame, will appear on Lotus F1 cars as part of the deal and the business will also launch branded content and social media initiatives in partnership with the team. Further details of the tie-up will be revealed January 2013 ahead of the start of the new season.

The deal will see the brand join an F1 grid that also features branding from rival energy drinks brands including Red Bull, TNT and Monster.

Emmanuel Seuge, group director for worldwide sports and marketing entertainment at Coca-Cola, says the brand’s activations around the racing team will incorporate “art and music” in a way that will “break conventions of traditional Formula One sponsorship marketing”.

He adds: “The creativity of teams and the passion for speed and energy that fuel the sport of Formula 1, make a partnership with this iconic sporting property a compelling proposition for the burn brand.”

Eric Boullier, team principal for the Lotus Formula One team, says: “We are excited to partner with Burn to build a new and innovative model for sponsorships that will combine experiences, content creation and social media; an area in which our team has been at the cutting edge in Formula 1 for the past 18 months, recording the highest growth rate amongst fans this year.”

It has long been rumoured that Coca-Cola, looking at the success of fellow brands in the sport, could enter Formula One. Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone admitted earlier this year that were Coca-Cola to enter the sport it would be through one of their energy drinks brands.

The deal comes at a vital time for Lotus, a team that has been looking for some investment recently in a bid to compete with more high profile teams McLaren and Ferrari. Earlier this month, Boullier said the team’s performance this year, which has seen it secure fourth place in the constructors championship, should help it attract more commercial deals ahead of the new season.

Coca-Cola branding has previously appeared on Czech Republic driver Tomas Enge’s car in F3000 over a decade ago and the company also sponsors the annual 600-mile Nascar Cup.

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