The Williams F1 Team’s 2014 livery scheme is steadily taking shape, with the Grove squad announcing a new multi-year sponsorship deal from the lifestyle insurance company, Genworth.
Founded in 1871, the Fortune 500 company started out as the Life Insurance Company of Virgina until is was acquired in the mid-1980s by Combined Insurance, which subsequently became the AON insurance giant.
The company was later sold to GE Capital in 1996, and eight years later it spun off the General Electric umbrella and morphed into a combined insurance operations known as Genworth Financial before being sold off by GE in 2006.
The company suffered enormously when the American housing bubble burst in 2009 during the Global Financial Crisis, but its position has recovered enormously and it is now expanding its market presence into Latina America and Asia.
Leveraging this growth with a branding presence on a global sport like Formula 1, therefore, makes perfect sense.
The deal will see Genworth’s logos appear on the rear wing endplates of the team’s new FW36 chassis, as well as the overalls and uniforms worn by the Williams F1 drivers and team.
Other sponsorship deals in the works
Longstanding rumours of Williams’ potential tie-up with the Martini alcohol brand also stepped up this week, with a sponsored team short briefly appearing on the team’s merchandise page before quickly being taken down. A formal announcement of Martini’s return is expected in due course.
Meanwhile, the team’s Brazilian connections – brought about by Felipe Massa’s appointment to the team’s driver line-up in place of the Pastor Maldonado – are gathering the attention of the outfit’s fomer fuel sponsor, Petrobras, which is understood to be keen on reuniting with Williams once again.
The Brazilian fuel giant was a sponsor with Williams from the late 1990s until the end of 2011, and it looks set to return to the team’s sponsorship portfolio after a two-year hiatus.
However, there is a stumbling block: Petrobras is believed to be keen for Williams to use its products instead of those made by Petronas, who are the preferred oil and lubricants partner with the team’s new engine supplier, Mercedes. That will need to be resolved before the Petrobras logos are likely to be seen on the FW36.
Other rumours suggest that Banco do Brasil will also join Williams as a sponsor, which would coincide with the team appointing GP2 Series driver, Felipe Nasr, to its books as its third driver.
Images via Motorsport.com and Williams F1 Team