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Major sponsor Allianz quits F1, joins all-electric Formula E championship

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Major sponsor Allianz quits F1, joins all-electric Formula E championship
Feb 27, 2017, 10:34 AM

German insurance giant Allianz has left Formula 1 to become a partner of the all-electric racing series Formula E, it was announced today.

German insurance giant Allianz has left Formula 1 to become a partner of the all-electric racing series Formula E, it was announced today.

The new deal will see the company’s logo being adorned on Formula E’s demonstration car and Roborace autonomous racing prototypes, and it will become the title sponsor of the championship’s fan zone at each ePrix.

The Allianz eVillage will showcase new technologies and concepts, host driver autograph signing sessions and each post-race podium ceremony.

Formula E

Allianz has been a major F1 sponsor for many years. Its branding has featured at a number of circuits, it’s a partner of the Mercedes team and it has been the championship’s safety partner since 2007, with Allianz logos featuring on the safety and medical cars in recent years.

Speaking as the news was announced Formula E’s founder and CEO, Alejandro Agag, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Allianz to the Formula E family and to see their passion in motorsport continue with the world’s first electric racing series.

“Allianz and Formula E are two brands that share a commitment to innovate and inspire, key values that form the basis of our partnership. With the support of Allianz we aim to bring our mutual passion for racing and innovation to our ever growing fan base around the world.”

Formula E

Jean-Marc Pailhol, head of group market management and distribution at Allianz, explained the company’s reasons for joining Formula E and described the technology fans would get to see in the eVillage.

He said: “We believe that now is the time to engage in the development of new ecosystems defining the future of urban mobility in a sustainable way.

“What better way than to partner with Formula E which not only brings the discussion to metropolitan cities around the global but also adds the excitement of fully electric racing.

“We are particularly excited to host the Allianz Explorer Zone in the Allianz eVillage which allows the visitors to get in touch with the latest digital technology such as 3D printing, drone technology, and virtual reality.”

Formula E

Formula E is currently in its third season, which is being led by former Toro Rosso F1 driver Sebastien Buemi after three rounds.

The Swiss driver, who won the second Formula E championship, has won the first three races of the season in Hong Kong, Marrakech and Buenos Aires, where he beat fellow former F1 drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Lucas di Grassi.

The series has already secured partnerships with F1 sponsors Tag Heuer, DHL and Qualcomm, and has attracted OEM interest from the likes of Renault, Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Citroën (via its DS brand). The GH Mumm champagne company stopped supplying its products for F1’s podium ceremony at the start of 2016, shortly after it became Formula E’s champagne partner.

Formula E

It is an interesting time for sponsorship in motorsport, particularly in F1. This is because the price points remain high while there are no cost control measures and sponsors are therefore studying their deals to see if they are getting value for money.

One of Liberty Media’s desired goals for F1 is to significantly increase the number of sponsors involved in the sport and this has led to an existential debate within the paddock about whether opening up the series to new sponsors will damage F1’s exclusivity value.

Like Allianz, a number of companies are signing up to both F1 and Formula E – which is part owned by Liberty Media’s Liberty Global arm – because of the latter’s sustainability and future technology message.

What do you make of the news that Allianz will join Formula E? Do you think F1 should try to attract more sponsors or keep its exclusivity? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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Series Formula 1 , Formula E