Report: Infiniti May Let Red Bull Racing Sponsorship Go by 2015
Pop quiz, hot shot: what do you do when you are one of the primary sponsors of motorsports’ most successful team and your contract is set to expire by the end of 2015? Keep in mind, your brand, while growing is actually not terribly exciting at all save for your recent model lineup rebranding and—oh yes, the fact that the Formula One team that bears your name destroys pretty much anything that stands in their way and stars one of the sport’s most recognizable faces. What do you do? What do you do?
Apparently, if you are Infiniti, your answer is to let go of the rope and…I don’t know…hope another dominant franchise wants your name all over their product, perhaps. Germany’s Sport Bild reports that Infiniti is ready to let their Red Bull Racing sponsorship die off after it expires in 2015, possibly because they aspire to be more than friends with the F1 team.
Well, at least in the sense that Infiniti reportedly wants more of a technical role in the Red Bull Team’s operations. It’s entirely possible that the differences will be ironed over between now and the end of the contract, but it certainly makes one wonder what Infiniti is thinking by even considering moving away from Red Bull Racing at this stage in the development of their brand.
AutoWeek quotes former F1 driver Gerhard Berger, a close confidant of team owner Dietrich Mateschitz, as saying, “If anyone can overcome the loss of a sponsor, it is Red Bull.”
I would turn it around and instead ask the question: can Infiniti overcome the loss of the exposure that comes with their Red Bull Racing sponsorship?