Ferrari F1 team inks new long term Marlboro agreement
Ferrari has extended its Formula 1 sponsorship agreement with Philip Morris International, even though the brand will likely never again appear on the car.
The team announced over the weekend that it has renewed its partnership with the brand behind the Marlboro cigarette entity.
“The agreement continues the collaboration of over 40 years between Philip Morris International and Scuderia Ferrari,” a team statement read.
Philip Morris’s previous contract, a two-year that began in 2016, was set to run out at the end of the season but seemed likely to continue with former Philip Morris marketing executive Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal.
The sponsorship is the last remnant of an era when motorsports was flush with tobacco money.
Specifically, Marlboro arrived in Formula 1 in 1972 when it joined the BRM team. That same year, RJ Reynolds became the primary sponsorship for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series – a partnership that lasted until 2003.
Marlboro sponsored Team Penske’s IndyCar program from 1989 to 2010.
Most countries have now banned tobacco advertising as a health regulation over the past 25 years. Thus, teams like Ferrari kept the red and white livery but was barred from featuring Marlboro logos or branding.
Back in 2010, Ferrari was ordered to remove a barcode design from its F1 car amid suggestions that it was subliminal advertising for Marlboro. Now the branding is on the periphery.