Williams 'landmark' sponsorship deal

Williams has signed a 'landmark' sponsorship deal with Niquitin CQ, the first anti-tobacco sponsor partnership in Formula One. Niquitin, from GlaxoSmithkline, is a product aimed at those wishing to give up smoking, the other end of the spectrum...

Williams has signed a 'landmark' sponsorship deal with Niquitin CQ, the first anti-tobacco sponsor partnership in Formula One. Niquitin, from GlaxoSmithkline, is a product aimed at those wishing to give up smoking, the other end of the spectrum from teams sponsored by tobacco companies.

Williams marketing director Jim Wright, who confirmed the deal is initially for a year, said: "It's a landmark deal for a Formula One team and a first for motorsport. We're helping motor racing kick the habit."

The FIA is trying to overturn the tobacco advertising ban that comes into force in 2005 and warns that races may be forced out of the European Union if the ban remains. Sir Frank Williams points out that there are other alternatives to tobacco: "This deal confirms that there is a future for Formula One after tobacco sponsorship," he said.

"GlaxoSmithKline’s historic move into Formula One is excellent news for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team and the sport as a whole. With the impending ban for tobacco sponsorship looming, it is highly apposite that a smoking cessation product is taking its place.“

Williams has used tobacco sponsors in the past, notably Rothmans, but dropped cigarette partners when it teamed up with BMW in 2000. From the San Marino Grand Prix this weekend, Williams' cars will display the Niquitin logos.

"Yes, we used to be sponsored by tobacco companies," commented Wright. "But we also used to make cars out of aluminium. Frank, as one of the older statesmen, has always defended the right of teams to decide their own commercial futures. We've decided ours."

Mark Dickinson, Marketing Manager for NiQuitin CQ commented: "We want to make giving up smoking using NiQuitin CQ more aspirational and exciting, and Formula One provides a perfect means to that end. This is a perfect opportunity to inspire millions of smokers who have been bombarded with pro-tobacco messages through Formula One for decades."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Frank Williams
Teams Williams