Soccer reconnects with F1 in LaLiga-Renault tie-up
Soccer is meeting Formula 1 in an innovative new sponsorship deal between Spain’s LaLiga and the Renault Sport team.
Under the agreement announced on Thursday, LaLiga becomes the official football league partner of the French outfit for the 2018 season, and its logo will appear on the team’s new RS18 car and the overalls of drivers Carlos Sainz of Spain and Niko Hulkenberg of Germany.
The two parties have also pledged to work together to “allow fans access to multi-layered sports entertainment across multiple platforms.”
The Spanish league claims the partnership forms part of the strategy to expand its brand internationally and complements its initiative to support sports and athletes outside soccer.
Through its LaLiga4Sports project, the league backs Javier Fernandez, the figure skater who won a bronze medal at the ongoing PyeongChang winter Olympics, and Carolina Marin, the 2016 Olympic women’s singles champion, and has supported the Davis Cup tennis tournament and Spanish star player Rafael Nadal.
Last week, LaLiga announced plans to launch a free-to-view over-the-top television platform that will provide a new home for soccer and other sports content, building on the foundation of an existing website that offers coverage of events that do not enjoy wide television exposure.
Announcing the tie-up with Renault, Enrique Moreno, the brand director of LaLiga, said: "We have been looking for innovative ideas that allow us to generate brand presence internationally and support our brand positioning ‘It’s not football. It’s LaLiga'.
"Motorsports and specifically Formula 1 fits perfectly with this strategy. Formula 1 fans are potential football fans. This new, year-long relationship is designed to further expand the LaLiga audience and grow awareness for our brand.”
Antoine Magnan, the head of partnerships at the Renault team, added: “We are very happy to announce this exciting and unique partnership with LaLiga, one of the world’s best football divisions. Renault Sport Formula One Team and LaLiga have many shared goals as we push to expand our reach worldwide.
"Between the Formula 1 and LaLiga seasons we cover the entire year and there are cross-overs in our two fan bases that will be the springboard for exciting activities.”
The partnership represents one of the most high-profile collaborations between soccer and Formula 1 to date, which have included English Premier League club Chelsea sponsoring the Switzerland-based Sauber team from 2012 to 2015.
Flavio Briatore, the former head of the old Renault F1 team, and Bernie Ecclestone, the ex-Formula 1 promoter, co-owned another London team, Queens Park Rangers, from 2007 to 2011.
However, direct tie-ups between soccer and motor racing have a mixed record.
Superleague Formula, the international series featuring teams backed by famous soccer clubs, including Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, AC Milan, AS Roma, Atlético Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, ran for three seasons only to fold shortly into its fourth campaign, in 2011.