McLaren set sights on attracting Asian sponsors

Date published: September 16 2020

McLaren are seeking to boost their total of 41 team sponsors by attracting more from the Asia region.

With 16 of those sponsors represented on the F1 cars driven by Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, McLaren Racing chief executive Zak Brown would like a greater presence of Asian brands.

Brown, speaking at the All That Matters Online 2020 conference and quoted by SportBusiness, said: “What we don’t have are a lot of Asia-based partners.

“In my previous role I was fortunate to bring in LG and Lenovo to the sport. I’d like to see more of those, more companies with their homes in Asia getting involved in Formula 1, and I think we need to raise the awareness beyond what it is today.”

Due to the difficult financial situation created by the global health pandemic, McLaren have been busy servicing existing sponsors as best they can during this year’s disrupted Formula 1 season.

Brown said the team sat with every partner to create new plans for the season. He explained: “We weren’t short of having some pain ourselves and we worked through on a case-by-case basis with each partner in a very proactive way, and happy to say we have every single partner we started with – and more – and everyone’s very happy. It’s working well.”

McLaren boss Zak Brown

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Changes to partnerships included what he called offering “incremental branding” opportunities and rolling over hospitality arrangements to 2021 and beyond.

Brown said sponsors had been happy overall with his team’s, and Formula 1’s, reaction to the pandemic.

“As you would imagine with people not travelling, television ratings are up, digital and social numbers continue to grow and extremely fast, and our sponsors and the industry sponsors are happy,” he said.

In normal years, the All That Matters conference takes place in Singapore in the same week as the grand prix, which was due to take place next Sunday but has been cancelled for 2020 with F1 not visiting Asia at all this season due to the pandemic.

Brown hailed the Singapore race as a model for F1, calling the race weekend “the Asia-Pacific Davos”.

“When you go to that grand prix, there is no race that has more global C-level executives that attend for business reasons,” he said.

“I applaud the Singaporean government and the promoter of the race. It’s a fantastic race and I think we need more ‘Singapores’.”

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