The deal will see the FT logo on the rear wing endplates of the two Williams FW42s from this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku.
The London based newspaper, owned by Nikkei inc, largely focuses on business and economic news.
It was founded in 1888 as the London Financial Guide and currently has a record paying readership of 1 million, 750,000 of whom are digital subscribers.
It is The Financial Times’ first foray into Formula 1, and the venture ties in nicely with their ‘Business of Formula 1’ feature that explores the financial aspects of the sport.
Despite its Japanese ownership, the Financial Times brand is regarded as quintessentially British, and so who better to partner than the UK’s most successful Formula 1 team of all time (in terms of constructor’s titles).
“This is a hugely exciting partnership between two iconic British brands, both operating globally and at the forefront of their respective fields” said Financial Times Global Commercial Marketing Director David Buttle.
Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams added:
“The opportunity to collaborate with the FT to embrace these new forms of media and digital opportunities is hugely exciting for both our team and our existing partners, and I am looking forward to seeing how the partnership develops.”
So what does the deal mean for fans of the Williams team who aren’t as concerned with ‘digital opportunities’ and ‘marketing and brand exposure‘ as they are with the health of their F1 team of choice?
Well it’s a good sign that despite their current struggles, the Williams Grand Prix team are still able to attract interest from potential sponsors and partners.
No details of the deal have been released officially, but we should assume that Williams have benefitted financially (although it’s interesting that it’s been announced as a ‘partnership’ rather than sponsorship and as such it’s likely to be relatively mutually beneficial).
It’s also a positive sign that a high profile organisation so concerned with finance would pin its colours to Williams’ mast. If it had any doubt about the economic viability of the team, would it risk its credibility by planting its logo on the side of the car? I doubt it.