Williams & Martini, Sauber & Chelsea : ces partenariats Formule 1 qui nous marquent

L’un semble couler de source, l’autre apparaît comme inédit et sorti de nulle part. Si le sponsoring via une marque d’alcool est du déjà vu en Formule 1, un club de football associé à une écurie de F1 relève de l’inédit. Quoi qu’il en soit, Sauber et Williams font partie du patrimoine de ce sport avec 60 saisons à toutes les deux, et elles ont un autre point commun que celui d’être des habituées du milieu de grille ces dernières années : en effet,  elles rencontrent des difficultés financières, à tel point que des rumeurs de fin d’activité ont circulé pour Sauber en 2013. Alors rien de tel qu’une bonne utilisation du marketing et du sponsoring pour mieux rebondir… ou tenter de rebondir.

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SAUBER & CHELSEA : DU SPORT ET RIEN QUE DU SPORT ?

Les visées d’une telle alliance semblent encore floues… partenariat de prestige, coup de com’, opération marketing à plusieurs étages… les trois à la fois ? Les valeurs communes entre le club anglais et l’écurie suisse ne sautent pas aux yeux… Ainsi Sauber a préféré communiquer sur l’aspect innovant de ce partenariat plutôt que d’invoquer les raisons liées au business. Certes, l’idée de réunir ces deux disciplines que sont le Football et la Formule 1 peut apparaître intéressante, mais il n’en demeure pas moins que l’effet recherché est avant tout un pacte gagnant-gagnant en terme commercial, notamment en cumulant la visibilité des deux sports. La fragile santé financière de l’équipe d’Hinwill l’aura sans aucun doute poussé à ce rapprochement avec le club de Roman Abramovitch.

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WILLIAMS & MARTINI : UN ADN COMMUN

Fin 2013, exit PDVSA (et Maldonado). Place à Martini qui devient le sponsor-titre de l’écurie Formule 1, Williams . Il faut aussi noter le renfort des autres sponsors que sont Petrobras, Banco do Brasil, Randstad et Genworth. Pas si mal quand on finit 9e sur 11 au Championnat Constructeurs 2013. Présentées seulement 10 jours avant le début de la saison 2014, les bandes bleues et rouges sur fond blanc incarnent ce partenariat qui se veut naturel et comme étant la suite logique d’une histoire. Si on connaît l’importance des valeurs communes dans un partenariat, on peut clairement établir ici une association de valeurs : la passion, une histoire et un passé riche dans la course automobile. Il faut se rappeler que Martini a sponsorisé Brabham et Lotus dans les années 1970, Lancia et Ford en rallye, Porsche en endurance ; l’aspect mythique au service de la nostalgie.

Dans le cadre de ce partenariat unique, Martini & Williams ont créé la Williams Martini Racing Terrazza, un espace à Barcelone, ouvert début mai, une véritable expérience immersive et multi-sensorielle qui va offrir aux consommateurs l’opportunité de vivre l’action et les émotions d’une courses de Formule 1.

TRAJECTOIRES CROISEES

Mais cet accord entre Martini et Williams, valorisé à 10 millions d’euros par an, pour une durée de 3 ans, va au-delà du marketing et n’est pas que visuel. Il matérialise un nouvel élan et symbolise le renouveau de l’équipe de Formule 1 de Grove qui court toujours après son glorieux passé. Si en 2013 les Sauber devançaient les Williams, les rôles se sont inversés en 2014 : Williams s’est doté du V6 Mercedes et d’un duo composé de l’expérimenté et revanchard Felipe Massa et du très prometteur Valtteri Bottas. L’écurie anglaise paraît mieux loti que Sauber qui a totalement raté sa C33 et dont la paire Sutil-Gutierrez paraît bien faible… surtout en ce qui concerne le pilote mexicain qui ne doit sa place en F1 qu’au soutien de Telmex. Oui, encore une question de partenariat…

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