Infiniti just took a big step in bolstering its name as a serious contender in the luxury game by announcing a global sponsorship of Red Bull's Formula One racing team.
This marks the first time in its history that the upscale arm of Japan-based Nissan has attached its name to a global sponsorship of any kind. The biggest it had done in the past were a few tennis and nautical events. So why now? It's no secret that Infiniti has been nipping at the heels of some of the more upwardly regarded luxury marques, and as they expand globally, such a visible partnership makes perfect sense.
"Infiniti has launched in Europe and is going into Russia, India, and China, just as F1 has done, so it's a good fit for us," says global marketing communications chief Simon Sproule. Sproule also explains the tie-in with the world's most recognized energy drink. The Red Bull F1 team utilizes Renault engines in their cars, and Renault happens to be a global alliance partner with Nissan. But why F1? Well it's no secret that Formula events attract some of the richest and most aspirational fans out there, what better crowd to start looking the part for?
Considering the Red Bull team is on a roll, having won the F1 championship title last year, there's probably no better way Infiniti could have chosen to revitalize its body and mind.
Infiniti & Red Bull Racing: The Infiniti Luxury Automotive Brand Joins the Most Prestigious Racing Series in the World
Infiniti, the global luxury automotive brand from Japan, announced today a marketing agreement with Formula One World Champions, Red Bull RacingRenault, covering the 2011 and 2012 F1 seasons. Leveraging the co-operative power of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, a unique triumvirate has been created with Red Bull Racing, focused on high-profile marketing and technical activities around Formula One.
As part of the agreement, Infiniti will have a high-profile branding presence on the racing car, drivers clothing and related team uniforms and equipment. In addition to the branding and marketing relationship, Infiniti will work with Renault to forge future technical collaboration with Red Bull Racing. The Red Bull Racing team will continue to utilise the Renault F1 engines in 2011 and 2012 that powered them to their maiden Formula One World Championships last season.
Commenting on this historic announcement for Infiniti, Andy Palmer, Senior Vice President, Infiniti said: "Over the mid-term, Infiniti will be simultaneously expanding its global presence and broadening its product range. Given these twin ambitions, it is clear that Formula One offers us an unrivalled global communications platform, complementing Infiniti's ethos of Inspired Performance. We are excited to have the opportunity to enter Formula One together with a world-class team like Red Bull Racing Renault."
Red Bull Racing's Team Principal Christian Horner, who was instrumental in pulling the agreement together, said: "Red Bull has always taken a different approach, so when the Infiniti executives outlined their innovative plan to us we were very open to working with them. Coming off the back of our 2010 Drivers' and Constructors' World Championships, we feel even more excited to be starting the 2011 season with a new and committed partner like Infiniti."
Bernard Rey, President of Renault Sport F1 further endorsed the new deal: "While Renault is rightfully very proud of our achievements within Formula One, we know the future is about collaboration. To have a talented and committed Alliance partner like Infiniti is very welcome as we set out on the current and future challenges in Formula One. So it is with great pleasure that I would like to welcome Andy Palmer and his entire team in our Formula One adventure, and I look forward to starting the 2011 season together as Alliance partners."
Infiniti, the luxury automotive brand from Japan, reflects its brand promise "Inspired Performance" with a model line-up of sedans, coupés, SUVs and crossovers featuring exhilarating performance, emotive design and cutting edge technology. Infiniti continues to launch across the globe through a dedicated network of Infiniti Centres that share a commitment to exceptional hospitality throughout the entire period of ownership. For more information, see www.infiniti.com
About Renault Sport F1
Renault Sport F1 is the motorsport department responsible for Renault's F1 activities. Renault Sport F1 has multiple roles, as engine conceptor, technology and business-to-business opportunities supplier for three F1 teams this season. The main thrust of its work takes place at Viry-ChĂ˘tillon, traditionally the technical hub of Renault's F1 activities: engines have been conceived, developed, and tested here for more than 30 years.