F1 director buys stake in sponsorship agency

By on Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jul.12 (GMM) One of F1's non-executive directors is looking to get involved with formula one sponsorship deals.

The Financial Times reports that global communications services company WPP, headed by founder and boss Sir Martin Sorrell, is taking a minority stake in the biggest F1 sponsorship agency Just Marketing.

Sorrell is a board member of CVC, the controlling shareholder of formula one.

He said motor sport and F1 have grown significantly "But it needs a more professional approach from the marketing side".

Zak Brown-headed Just Marketing handles the F1 sponsorships of clients including LG, Johnnie Walker and UBS.

"Motor sport is a very interesting area. It is very global, it has good reach, and with its live events has tremendous cross-media and new media opportunities," added Sorrell.

Brown confirmed that the deal is going ahead and will "result in bringing in more clients and more money in the sport".

But he remains concerned that F1's constant politics is a barrier to the involvement of some potential sponsors.

"I do think it crosses the line from time to time, and I'm sure there are some companies that won't participate in F1 because they can't stomach the politics," said Brown.

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