Camera and electronics giant Canon has cancelled its £4m-a-year signage sponsorship deal for Formula One grand prix in order to focus on its key sponsorship of the Euro 2004 football competition.
Canon’s long-running deal with rights holder Allsport is for advertising boards at four race courses per year, including Hungary, France and Italy. Signage at each race is worth almost £1m.
This is the end of Canon’s long-standing involvement with Formula One. During the early Nineties, Canon was the main sponsor of the Williams Formula One racing team.
Bruce Haase, pan-European sponsorship and events manager at Canon, says the company has decided to invest its money in its primary sponsorship property, Euro 2004. The company will advertise on signs at the games leading to the final, and will run TV advertising and promotions across Europe based around the tournament.
Haase adds that corporate hospitality at the games with customers and dealers is also a key part of the sponsorship for Canon.
An industry source adds that Canon decided the Formula One signage sponsorship was not reaching its target market. He says: “The company wants to target younger people with its equipment and so wants a more dynamic sponsorship. Formula One is seen as a bit of an older man’s sport, while football is a lot sexier.”