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Filed under: Motorsports, Marketing/Advertising

Infiniti announced today that it is signing on to be a sponsor of Red Bull's Formula One racing team.

It is the first time that Infiniti is signing on to a global sponsorship of any kind, previously preferring regional tie-ins in sports such as tennis and sailing. But as the Japanese brand looks to expand globally, says global marketing marketing communications chief Simon Sproule, an expanding F1 series looks like a logical partner to the company.

"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 Sproule.

The association with Red Bull, says Sproule, sprung from Red Bull's use of Renault engines. Renault and Nissan are global alliance partners, with the French automaker holding a controlling stake in Nissan. CEO Carlos Ghosn is at the top of both automakers. The Renault engines may even be rebranded "Infiniti." Red Bull, of course, won the championship title in Formula One last year. "It's also good to be with a winner, of course," said Sproule.

Infiniti had a good year in the U.S. last year. Sales were up 27% to crest the 103,000 level. But Nissan is looking for Infiniti to be a bigger player in luxury circles worldwide. F1 attracts a good amount of luxiry car buyers worldwide, and is catching on in important markets for luxury brands like China and Russia.

Red Bull, saus Sproule, has a broad appeal as the biggest energy drink brand in the world. The Austrian beverage company has associated its brand with numerous extreme sports, as well as owning the New York Red Bulls Major League Soccer team. It also has great crossover appeal between rich luxury car buyers, as well as young luxury car aspirers who don't yet have the incomes to afford big sticker prices.Infiniti signs on as F1 global sponsor with Red Bull originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Feb 2011 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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