Santander renew McLaren sponsorship

McLaren has confirmed that it will continue to be sponsored by Santander for the 2010 season, after agreeing an extension with the Spanish bank.

This weekend, Santander announced that it was entering into a five-year major sponsorship deal with Scuderia Ferrari – a move which placed any future relationship with the Woking team into doubt.

However, in a statement released on the team’s official website, McLaren has announced that Santander’s current deal, which began in 2007, will now be continued into next season.

“We are extremely pleased to have extended our hugely successful global Partnership with Santander,” said Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh, “As one of the world’s leading banks with a significant presence in Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and the United States and other countries, Santander is a great ‘fit’ with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and our triumphs on the global stage of Formula 1.

“The year 2009 marks Santander’s third season of association with our sport, and during this time they have successfully title-sponsored three of the most prestigious and historic races: the British, German and Italian Grands Prix. We are very proud of our relationship with Santander and to be part of their ever-expanding Formula 1 involvement.

“We welcome, and wish them well with, their other activities – including, but not limited to, the afore-mentioned race sponsorships.”

Santander’s Senior Vice President of Communications, Corporate Marketing and Research also welcomed the continuation of the company’s association with McLaren – a partnership which comes at a crucial time for the Spanish bank, who have recently moved to bring together Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley to operate under the single Santander brand in the United Kingdom.

“The year 2010 will create a newly-refreshed scenario for Santander in terms of Formula 1 sponsorship.” said Juan Manuel Cendoya, “Our continuing partnership with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes – and especially with Lewis Hamilton – will fit very well with our ongoing development of the Santander brand, not only in the UK but globally too.”

According to McLaren, Santander’s brand awareness has increased in the United Kingdom from 22% to 82% – largely thanks to a string of advertising campaigns fronted by Lewis Hamilton.

The reigning World Champion also expressed his delight at the renewed contract, reflecting on the impact that the Spanish bank has had on McLaren and Formula One as a whole.

“Some of the most enjoyable activities I have ever done off track during my Formula 1 career have been with Santander.” Hamilton also was quoted as saying in the statement. “Everything we do together is always thinking outside of the box, and I am looking forward to continuing that work together with them and the team.”

“Over the past couple of years we have filmed some great TV ads – one of them turned me into an Airfix kit and then in the other I got to play on a life-sized Scalextric set! The Santander people are very cool and push home the value and strength of teamwork.

“With Santander I have also had the opportunity to attend some events in Spain. I love racing in Spain, too – Spanish motorsport fans are always so enthusiastic.”