RBS and the Williams F1 team today announced that their partnership will conclude at the end of the current contract in 2010. The partnership began in 2005 and was renewed for a second three-year term in 2007.
Andrew McLaughlin, RBS Group Director, Communications, said:
"We recognise that we are now operating in a very different economic environment and have been reviewing all of our activities since October. It is imperative that we respond to the reality of the situation we face and that we do so in an orderly way that respects the commercial agreements we have in place and the implications for our partners and the jobs they support. Throughout our relationship, Williams have shown great understanding and innovation in driving the programme forwards. They have been very supportive in finding ways to reduce costs over the remainder of our contract. This early announcement allows Sir Frank Williams and his team to plan ahead financially."
Sir Frank Williams, Team Principal of Williams F1, added:
"RBS has been a great partner for this team and we are pleased to have made our contribution over the past four years to developing the RBS brand internationally. Thanks to the support of RBS and our many other loyal partners, we are in a strong position to ride out the inevitable challenges of the next two years. RBS is showing great responsibility to the role that we play in the British economy, supporting over 500 highly skilled technology jobs in a sector in which Britain leads the world. In the last three years, Williams has spent over GBP 100 million with 2,700 UK suppliers and it is of course important that this business endures."
1. RBS is reviewing all sponsorship activity as part of its Strategic Review.
2. This will result in a 25% reduction in sponsorship and related costs in 2009 and around 50% by 2010.
3. Non contractual costs (F1) have already been reduced by over 50%.
4. RBS has made further savings by cancelling trackside advertising for 2010.
5. In all RBS sponsorships, hospitality costs in 2009 have been reduced by around 90%.
6. Williams F1 has won 16 World Championships in 30 years, an achievement underwritten predominantly by overseas funding and thereby making a significant annual contribution to the UK's invisible earnings.
7. UK motorsports is a high-technology sector in which Britain is a world leader. Six of the 10 Formula One teams are based in Britain and over 4,500 other highly specialist companies support the domestic and international industry.
8. The UK motorsport industry has an annual turnover of GBP 6.0 billion, with GBP 3.6 billion exported.
9. UK motorsport supports 38,500 full and part-time jobs, including 25,000 engineers.