NiQuitin CQ to sponsor BMW Williams F1 team

GlaxoSmithKline's NiQuitin CQ brand is to sponsor the BMW Williams Formula One team in a deal that underlines the imminent demise of tobacco's stranglehold on F1.

The brand, the UK's leading nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) product, believes a move into the world of F1 will promote it around the world and that the sport's audience includes millions of smokers who are trying to kick the habit.

NiQuitin CQ's arrival on the Williams cars at this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix will be the first time an NRT brand has sponsored an F1 team.

During the 90s, the Rothmans cigarette brand was title sponsor of the Williams team.

Neither party would comment on the value of the deal, but industry sources suggested it could have cost GSK as much as £10m. Other sponsors of the Williams team include Hewlett-Packard, Castrol, Western Union and Reuters.

"We want to make giving up smoking using NiQuitin CQ more aspirational and F1 provides a perfect means to that end," said Mark Dickinson, marketing manager for Ni-Quitin CQ. "This is a perfect opportunity to inspire millions of smokers who have been bombarded with pro-tobacco messages through F1 for decades."

Tobacco brands continue to play a major role in F1, with the McLaren team backed by West, Jordan sponsored by Benson & Hedges, Ferrari sponsored by Marlboro and BAR supported by the Lucky Strike brand. In total, it is estimated that tobacco firms still pay more than £160m a year to associate their products with the sport.

COMMENT

The NiQuitin CQ deal with the BMW Williams team is one of the most significant F1 sponsorship agreements ever struck.

Finally, the pharmaceutical industry realises there is an opportunity to promote its smoking-cessation brands as tobacco's influence on the sport begins to wane.

The key to the deal's success will be the same as for any sponsor - can GSK create a marketing strategy that enables it to stand out in what remains a heavily-branded sporting circus?

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Premier League rolls back into town with moody BT Sport ad
Amazon asks permission to trial Prime Air drone delivery service
Brands celebrate Germany's World Cup triumph
Morrisons' pun-tastic ads show off new London delivery service
Ex-Thomas Cook marketer Mike Hoban resurfaces at Morrisons
Barbour creates real-time illustrations of consumers' stories for summer campaign
Viral review: Samsung goes for Apple’s jugular but fails to connect
View from Brazil: why we didn't believe we could lose the World Cup
Heineken unveils ‘Open Your City’ drive with Metro for ‘men of the world’
Unilever continues portfolio 'reshaping' with Slim-Fast sale
Amazon to fight US authorities over in-app purchase claims
Google set to invest $100m in Europe's tech start-ups
Metcalfe's set to release quirky debut TV ad
Samsung pities the iPhone 'wall huggers'
Smirnoff campaign aims to make Formula One less elitist
Apple wins EU battle to register store layout as trademark
Marketing directors need to step outside 'marketing box' to earn seat on the board
Hottest virals: Burger King’s emotional gay pride Whopper ad, plus Apple and Guinness
Developer creates software enabling Google Glass mind-control
Kick-ass girl beats up shopping centre staff in music video
Top 10 ads of the week: Aldi's World Cup cider ad scores with consumers
Sony relives Germany's 7-1 victory against Brazil in Subbuteo Vine
Burberry credits 9% revenue hike on strong online sales and 'more targeted marketing'
Ritz returns to UK TV screens after 30-year hiatus
Mars creates chief health and wellbeing officer role
Brands make the most of Germany's dramatic victory over Brazil
Adios Justin King! Watch our video tribute as he leaves Sainsbury's after a decade
Nike calls time on 13-year Manchester United kit deal
Three TV ad banned over misleading 'free' call claims
GNM boss David Pemsel: 'The Guardian has got its mojo back'