The Sauber F1 team has today announced an unexpected joint venture with English Premier League football club Chelsea FC, which will run for the rest of the 2012 season.
The deal includes a joint venture approach in sharing knowledge an expertise in the areas of sport science, as well as the sale of merchandise at each other’s events.
Additionally, both outfits will wear the other’s logos, and therefore benefit greatly from the increase in marketing exposure that it will give the other – particularly given that Formula 1 and Premier League football are two of the most-watched sporting series in the world.
Sauber had aroused some curiosity with its ‘Out of the Blue’ and ‘True Blue’ logos it had run on the engine covers of its C31 challengers at the recent Chinese and Bahrain Grands Prix, respectively.
“A partnership like this between Formula One and Football has never existed before in this form, yet there are numerous commonalities and possible synergies,” Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn said in the team’s media release.
“In either case we are talking about team sport at the highest – and international – level. The Sauber F1 Team and Chelsea FC are dealing with many of the same sporting and commercial topics and we want to strengthen each other in these areas. We are looking forward to exploiting these opportunities, and we congratulate Chelsea on making it to the final of the Champions League.”
“We felt that this Swiss team, the fourth oldest of the existing teams, reflects our own ideals perfectly,” added Chelsea FC Chief Executive Ron Gourlay.
“In a year when Chelsea celebrates 20 seasons as a Premier League team, Sauber does so as a Formula 1 team. We share many philosophies when it comes to how the respective organisations are run, from the development of young talent to constantly striving for success. Sauber’s philosophy towards grassroots development has produced some of the best drivers in F1, which mirrors our dedication to develop promising young football talent through our Academy.”