Zak Brown: Performance-related sponsorship will prevail

McLaren’s Zak Brown believes that the future of sponsorship in Formula 1, and indeed in sport in general, will have to include a performance element.

The economics of the sport as well as the emergence of sophisticated rating measurement systems will force teams to provide more flexibility to cost-effective seeking commercial partners.

A change of environment which Brown is taking into account in his quest to rebuild McLaren’s commercial and sporting foundation.

“The rate card for Formula 1 has come down some, and I think that’s a good thing at the end of the day,” Brown explained in an interview with Sky Sports F1.

” Now what we need to do is bring down Formula 1 expenses. It’s okay if the top line goes down as long as the bottom line also goes down at the same time so you sustain your profitability or, in the case of lots of Formula 1 companies, reduce your losses.

“So I think the new way in sponsorship, not just with McLaren and not even just for Formula 1, but for all sports, is certainly a performance element.”

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Brown insisted that companies will commit to a partnership only if a team offers flexibility in terms of a commercial offer which takes into account possible variations in performance.

“These companies need kind of guaranteed value and if you buy into sport you win some, you lose some so you have to accept you have good years and bad years. So there is a performance element, and then also making sure things are measurable and being flexible.

“Companies now more than ever are acting on a quarter-by-quarter basis as they get more sophisticated in their measurement evaluation and so, as a good partner, we need to adapt and be as flexible as we possibly can while staying true to the business rules we have.”

Brown reiterated the fact that the Woking-based outfit will be without a title sponsor for 2017 but that conversations have already been initiated with potential sponsors for 2018 although it is still early days.

“2017 is not realistic, but 2018 is not far away by any stretch, so we’re going to focus on big companies, big brands, like-minded companies and we certainly have some great conversations, but early conversations.”

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