• Force India

Force India announces Smirnoff sponsorship deal

ESPN Staff
May 1, 2014 « Teams meet to discuss cost-cutting | 'The grand prix hero of Hollywood's dreams' »
Smirnoff will replace Sahara on Force India's sidepod © Force India

Force India will feature Smirnoff on its sidepod from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards after announcing a new partnership with the vodka manufacturer.

The team hopes the "fan-centric" partnership will "help lovers of the sport get closer to drivers, nearer to top quality race action and further away from exclusivity". Smirnoff is the latest drinks company to enter F1, following Martini's partnership with Williams which was announced on the eve of the season.

Force India also says Smirnoff will use its new partnership "to deliver a powerful anti-drink drive message".

"It's fantastic to see Smirnoff join the world of Formula One," said team owner and principal Vijay Mallya. "It's an iconic, global brand and we welcome them to the Sahara Force India family. As a team we've always mixed the highest professionalism on the track with great celebrations away from it and our partnership with Smirnoff reinforces these values. As we continue to make progress on the track, Smirnoff is the ideal brand to help celebrate these moments and open up the sport to new fans."

Smirnoff feels the reputation of Force India as a team willing to mix it with the traditional front-runners makes it a perfect partner.

"We love Sahara Force India's story, as well as its ability to help us communicate about responsibility and top quality performance," Matt Bruhn, the company's brand director, said. "This team is shaking up how we perceive racing and giving the establishment a real run for its money. We are thrilled to help them bring fans closer to the action and have lots of fun with this energetic, exciting team along the way."

As well as the branding on the sidepod, Smirnoff's "eyebrow" logo will also appear on its drivers' suits, helmets and team clothing.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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