You Tube and Virgin: Manor and USF1 find sponsors?

Richard Branson, head of Virgin, has apparently announced the sponsorship of the new team in F1 for the 2010 season, Manor Grand Prix. That’s terrific news for manor but does suggest that the golden days of sponsoring Brawn GP are to end at least at the end of this season. The teams stock has risen in tide with the number of wins this year and it remains to be seen who Nick Fry will get to slather the side of their car with a logo.

Will Virgin “private label” the teams as Virgin F1? This is the type of scenario Richard has always said he is looking for. A small team to get started in F1 with and build the team and brand from there. Brawn GP rose so quickly that it is only natural Ross and Nick feel their team sponsorship price tag is very high and worth every penny.

On another positive sponsorship note, it has been suggested that Team USF1 was finalizing a deal with You Tube founder Chad Hurley at Silverstone last weekend. Great news for Ken and Peter as sponsorship will be crucial for their efforts and having a high profile sponsor like You Tube could be terrific

It could also be dangerous when dabbling in the tepid waters of the Web 2.0 companies or social media leaders as the market is certainly well-oiled but its longevity is always in question. Sites like Twitter offer the ultimate micro-blogging experience but I have yet to read how the thing can actually make money. Thousands of users touting themselves as social media mavens, experts, guru’s and inventors are always tweeting their services but so do deposed Nigerian dictators who have $15MM to deposit in your bank account. Investors and advertising certainly are suggested as massive revenue streams for these social media sites but foisting ad’s on users has always been met with disdain. You Tube has large backing of course and it could be an interesting marriage between the sport and a new media video outlet that could be used to exploit the marketability of the You Tube brand and USF1 team. Intriguing nonetheless but I wonder if You Tube’s investment can actually increase brand awareness in a global market that has made “you tube” a verb and an adjective?

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