Formula 1 announced on Tuesday a new long-term global sponsorship deal with Saudi Arabian energy group Aramco.
The deal will see Saudi Aramco become the sport’s sixth global partner alongside well-known sponsors DHL, Emirates, Heineken, Pirelli and Rolex.
In a statement released on its website, F1 said that Aramco selected motorsport’s premier category for its “dynamic appeal and growing global fan base”, while F1’s international platform will connect the giant oil and gas producer to “an engaged audience of 500 million fans and allow it to better communicate its success stories to the world”.
Anyone even remotely in tune with the world’s business affairs might be struck by F1’s partnership with a company that is also the world’s single biggest contributor to greenhouse gases, or in other words, the world’s biggest polluter.
F1’s deal with the state-owned giant comes just a few months after it announced a comprehensive sustainability plan and green campaign that will lead to the sport having a net zero carbon footprint by 2030.
The era of fossil fuels is slowly but surely drifting away, but where some might see a counter-intuitive – if not destructive – commercial move by F1 in terlms of reputation, the sport’s chief executive Chase Carey sees an opportunity to profit from its partner’s “technological innovation” in the energy sector.
“We are delighted to welcome Aramco to the Formula 1 family as a long-term Global Partner as we start our 2020 season,” said Chase Carey.
“We are looking forward to sharing our combined expertise and working with Aramco on technological innovation and we will benefit hugely from its capabilities and expertise in the fuel and energy sector.”
Aramco’s presence in F1 clearly implies that a Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is likely just around the corner.