Beer giant Heineken today announced a multi-year agreement with Formula 1 which will begin with the beer giant becoming a title sponsor of this year’s Italian Grand Prix.

The deal, which will run through until 2020, sees Heineken taking title sponsorship of three Grands Prix from 2017 as well as being visually present at a further six races to be decided by FOM.

Heineken is also now the official beer sponsor of Formula 1 and will have bars and hang-out lounges at every race, as well as a pre- and post-race events for fans attending race day.

Alongside their circuit branding and title sponsorship, Heineken will promote Formula 1 and their own brand through various platforms which include live fan experiences, TV commercials, and social media.

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone was at the launch to introduce event, and said: “Heineken is a premium international brand with a super reputation for first-class marketing.

“I am very pleased to welcome them to the Formula 1 family and look forward to the scale and quality of their activation at and away from F1 events.

“We are both in the innovation and enjoyment business and I hope this is the start of a long and special relationship.”

Although the addition of another alcoholic brand becoming a sponsor in the sport doesn’t compliment the FIA’s road safety campaign, Heineken will play heavily on their drinking campaign “If you drive, never drink”.

Heineken’s Global head of brand, Gianluca di Tondo – an avid Formula 1 fan since childhood –  sees a market Formula 1 hasn’t tapped into yet, and sees an opportunity for his company to assist in promoting the sport through alternate channels. Di Tondo is confident of a successful outcome like Heineken has achieved sponsoring the UEFA Champions League and the Rugby World Cup.

“For us the point is to go beyond broadcast. It is really to leverage the power of digital and social media,” Di Tondo said at the official launch of the global partnership in Montreal on Thursday.

“You will see an activation for Heineken and F1. We will have a special edition bottle for F1, for example. When we do this for UEFA, when we do this for Bond, when we do this for Rugby, you go to a billion people.

“Then we will leverage massively F1 on our social media and our digital programmes. This is the way you move from the millions to the billions.

“If you take what we did for the UEFA Champions League, our Twitter programme – Champion the Match – this year 2015/2016 – it has a 2.5 billion people reach. That is the way you scale up what you do. I think it is a journey. It is a step by step.”

Former race winner David Coulthard and three-time World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart will join Heineken as brand ambassadors.

Image via XPB Images

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