F1 Turns to High-Tech 切斷菸草廣告 F1求助科技業




作者/Kate Walker


For decades, Formula One was synonymous with tobacco. Not only was the sport awash with money from cigarette companies, but the cars’ liveries were also reflections of their sponsors, from the red and white Marlboro McLarens to the black and gold of the John Player Special Lotus.

一級方程式賽車(F1)曾有數十年是菸草的同義詞,不但這項運動充斥著菸商的資金,賽車的外觀也反映出贊助商是誰,例如紅白兩色的萬寶路麥拉倫車隊,以及黑金二色的John Player Special蓮花車隊。


Tobacco brought in an average of $350 million per year for Formula One earlier this decade, and companies like British American Tobacco and Philip Morris International helped pay for the sport’s continuous cycle of development, the technological arms race that often ensured that those who spent the most won the most.



But that all ended late in 2006 after Formula One banned tobacco advertising. In 2015, the last year for which public figures are available, the sport’s 10 teams raised about $750 million from sponsorships, a $200 million drop from 2012. That loss of income hit the sport about the same time as the financial crisis, which forced the Honda, Toyota and Renault teams to shut down, although Renault eventually returned. And now Formula One is reconsidering whether to continue to accept advertising from alcohol, fast-food and snack companies.



So the sport has been looking for a new vein of money, and in the last few years teams have been working to form partnerships with the deep-pocket companies in the technology industry that would bring not only high-tech expertise, but also revenue.


Technology and Formula One are natural partners, and companies like Microsoft and Dell have long invested in the sport. Mercedes, the current champion, has a number of technical partners, including wireless technology company Qualcomm and audio experts Bose, as well as Tibco, Pure Storage, Rubrik and Epson. Microsoft Dynamics has partnered with the Renault team since 2012, and Dell returned to the sport this year with McLaren, having previously worked with the now-defunct Caterham team.

科技和F1是天生的合作夥伴,微軟和戴爾這類公司長期投資這項運動。目前的冠軍車隊梅賽德斯有不少技術合作夥伴,包括無線技術公司高通和音頻專家博士企業,以及基礎設施軟體供應商Tibco、資料儲存設備業者Pure Storage、提供雲端數據備份的公司Rubrik和資訊影像設備製造商精工愛普生。微軟商業軟體Microsoft Dynamics2012年起就與雷諾車隊合作,而戴爾今年與麥拉倫一起重返這項運動,此前戴爾曾與現已解散的卡特漢姆車隊合作。


McLaren has been aggressive in obtaining partnerships over the past decade.



James Bower, McLaren’s marketing director, lived through Formula One’s sponsorship upheaval.


“Towards the end of that era — between 2001 and 2006 when the new directive kicked in — what you did see was some brands (and I would say West and Lucky Strike were probably the more innovative) pushing harder into lifestyle and pushing harder into what we recognize now as the deeper activation levels, as opposed to just slam Marlboro on the side of the car, throw a few parties, entertain some B2B trade retailers and call it a day,” Bower said, referring to business to business.



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