Luxury Watch Brand Shifts Gear And Saxo Leaves Cycling

As the sporting year comes to an end some major sponsorship relationships are also running their course.

McLaren has admitted its long-standing sponsorship partnership with Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer is about to end.

The 30-year relationship with McLaren will abruptly conclude at the close of the current Formula 1 season, however TAG Heuer will remain active in F1 as it is about to switch seats and to join rival Red Bull.

The TAG Heuer brand has featured on the McLaren team's cars since 1985, with former Tag Heuer CEO Mansour Ojjeh having initially become involved in McLaren two years earlier.

CEO Jean-Claude Biver told L’Hebdo that TAG Heuer has signed a deal with Red Bull Racing, “It (Red Bull) is a young, dynamic go-getter, perfectly consistent with the TAG Heuer strategy.”

A McLaren spokesman confirmed the reports of TAG Heuer ending its 30-year sponsorship of the British team – which spanned the Formula 1 world championship-winning Senna, Hakkinen and Hamilton eras – are true.

“McLaren’s partnership with TAG Heuer has been one of the most successful and enduring sponsorships in sporting history,” he said.

“It has lasted 30 years, during which time both parties have achieved enormous success together. It is therefore with gratitude that we announce the end of our 30-year partnership, satisfied as both parties are with a job well done.”

The spokesman said McLaren’s relationship with TAG Heuer’s parent company, Paris-based LVMH, would continue via the new sponsorship with Chandon.

Meanwhile on two wheels, the spectacle of cycling superstar Alberto Contador in the familiar Tinkoff-Saxo colours will be a thing of the past as the online multi-asset trading and investment specialist has announced that it has decided it will not renew the sponsorship of the Tinkoff-Saxo professional cycling team for another season.

Lars Seier Christensen and Kim Fournais, co-CEOs and co-Founders, Saxo Bank said,

“It has been a privilege working with the team over the past eight seasons and we are extremely proud of the numerous successes we have achieved together during this time. We would like to thank both the current team as well as the heroes from the past, from Bjarne Riis over Alberto Contador, Peter Sagan, the Schleck Brothers, Fabian Cancellara, Carlos Sastre to Matti Breschel, Chris Anker Sørensen and all the other riders whose passion and integrity have boosted the teams and our own brand as a sponsor both in Denmark as well as globally”

“We would especially like to thank Oleg Tinkov, the team’s current owner, and the management of Team Tinkoff-Saxo for the partnership. We look forward to finishing the season in style together as cycling will always have a special place in our hearts and we wish the team continued success”.

Supporting high performance sports from a business perspective continues to be an important feature of the bank’s engagement with its clients and community. The initiative SaxoSport, where clients and prospective clients engage in networks focused on high performance sports, recently had its first endeavour – Ride Like A Pro – where the selected participants lived and trained like cycling professionals and finished the journey with riding a stage of the Vuelta Espana.

“Sponsoring a cycling team has played a key part in building brand awareness at a time of rapid build-out of our international business which todays includes 26 offices around the world. Going forward Saxo Bank will continue to be a strong supporter of high performance sports and will be looking further into opportunities that enable us to sponsor strong individuals across various sports and regional interest. As always any decision regarding potential sponsorships will depend on business potential, results and value of branding,” said Christensen and Fournais.





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