You may recall that several years ago, British American Tobacco bought a Formula 1 team and named it British American Racing or BAR F1 or as we liked to say at the time, BARF 1. They had purchased Tyrrell back in 1997 and their star driver was none other than Jacques Villeneuve (JV) himself. Craig Pollock, JV’s manager and former ski instructor, was the team boss. They sold their team to Honda in 2006.
Now British American Tobacco (BAT) are back in the sport as a sponsor of the McLaren team. McLaren and BAT said:
It’s interesting timing as Ferrari’s Philip Morris sponsorship is under scrutiny for their Mission Winnow logo on the car with a pending review of their compliance of tobacco advertising laws in the upcoming Australian Grand Prix.
Perhaps, like PMI, BAT is looking to reinvent itself and branch out to new technologies and innovation or perhaps the criticism of Mission Winnow is equally, if not plainly stated here, that BAT is looking to vaping and other technologies for healthier tobacco delivery methods.
Technically speaking, vaping is delivering nicotine but it’s not, in most cases, tobacco. There are some systems that work differently but the question is, will the EU laws see vaping as the same as tobacco?
To be fair, the Mission Winnow statement I read didn’t suggest that they are looking at vaping technology and this was what the program was all about. Their statement was seeking entirely new industries and technologies. Not sure there is a parallel but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
Zak Brown, Chief Executive of McLaren Racing, said:
“We welcome BAT to the McLaren team and support their ambition of delivering meaningful and lasting change through innovation. BAT’s transformation agenda is central to this partnership and we are pleased to share our technical experience and expertise in helping to accelerate this.”
Kingsley Wheaton, BAT’s Chief Marketing Officer, said:
“We’re extremely proud and excited about this new partnership, further enabling us to accelerate the pace at which we innovate and transform ourselves. It gives us a truly global platform with which to drive greater resonance of our potentially reduced risk products, including our Vype, Vuse and glo brands. Ultimately, innovation and technology will support us in creating a better tomorrow’ for our consumers worldwide.”
McLaren Racing has today announced a global partnership with British American Tobacco (BAT), focused solely on BAT’s potentially reduced risk products and grounded in technology and innovation.
The multi-year partnership is centered on accelerating BAT’s transforming agenda, leveraging its portfolio of potentially reduced risk products, aiming to deliver the world’s tobacco and nicotine consumers a better tomorrow.
The agreement brings together two companies with a shared interest in technology, innovation and design, as well as a clear desire to deliver significant and meaningful change in their respective industries.
Technology is a core part of the relationship; McLaren Applied Technologies will work with BAT on areas including battery technology and advanced materials. The two companies will share best practice, innovation know-how and mutual experience.