UPS Racing The Globe Fronts New Ferrari F1 Partnership

To announce its new status as the Official Logistics partner of the Ferrari Scuderia F1 team, UPS has rolled out a self-referential film to promote the new alliance.



Despite little marketing support beyond PR, the film has already racked up 53,000-plus YouTube views to date. Perhaps illustrating the unique pulling power and popularity of the Ferrari F1 brand.


The deal, which was officially announced in Barcelona where the final pre-season F1 test sessions were taking place, sees UPS appear on the car, as well as having visibility of the drivers’ (Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa) racing overalls and on the team’s fleet of transporters and trackside equipment.


Plus, UPS will also act as the logistics partner for Ferrari which will see the brand move the team’s cars and equipment around the world through the upcoming season.


The deal will see UPS go head-to-head in the sport with long-time major rival DHL which is a global partner of the F1 tights owner (see previous case study).


Although no figure has officially been announced as to the value of the deal, it is a long-term, multi-year partnership.


The logistics brand seems to be steadily building on its global sponsorship strategy after its role as Olympics and Paralympic supporter, as well as its other major partnerships which include deals with the NCAA and the European Golf Tour.


UPS has been involved in motor racing for the last 12 years – particularly through its NASCAR partnership where the company serves as the Official Logistics Provider for the rights owner and teams competing in the flagship Sprint Cup series.


The logistics business also has a team-specific alliance with Roush Fenway racing as an associate sponsor of the No. 99 Ford car driven by Carl Edwards


The new F1 deal may see a similar activation as it already employs in NASCAR, which stretches from its UPS Racing website to employee hospitality programme.


As with many of its existing deals, UPS is clear that it has chosen F1 because of its global reach (the 2013 season will visit 19 countries). Particularly in its ability to engage throughout key Asian markets where F1 has expanded in recent years.


While UPS is a US headquartered company, F1′s recent move back into the US is not cited as a key reason for the brand joining the racing platform.


Despite this, the Grand Prix of America (currently scheduled to take place along the New Jersey shoreline in 2014) looks set to run directly across the river from UPS’ global headquarters building on West 43rd Street in Manhattan.


‘It is not just a sponsorship, it’s much more than that for us,’ says UPS’ Christine Owens. ‘It also gives us a chance to demonstrate our capabilities and to become a household name worldwide.’


‘We want to show our global capability, sending things from Europe to Asia, to the USA. F1 is truly global, it runs for 10 months of the year, which helps it to stay more top of the mind and nothing compares with its fanbase.’


‘We are extremely pleased to have UPS on board as our new Partner, as they are one of the most successful and recognized brands worldwide,’ says Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali.


‘Excellence, innovation and precision are critical across every process within the team. Working with an organization that has the global reach and scale of UPS, and that also shares these values, will allow us to jointly explore and implement ways to improve operations and increase efficiency across the team.’




This deal follows hot-on-the-heels of a group of major global brands entering the F1 field in recent weeks, including Blackberry, Emirates, Experian and Rolex (and Coca-Cola’s entry into the landscape with its close-season Burn/Lotus F1 deal).


Two of these new global giants come to F1 has team partners and two as sponsors of the rights owner.


Surely, having so many huge international brands joining the F1 global circus is an encouraging sign for the sport as a leading worldwide sponsorship platform?


It goes some way to offsetting recent concerns that some sponsors may be put off F1 by some signs of declining viewer numbers as the series moves to a pay-TV platforms in several key European markets.


The new multi-year agreement spans both the role of sponsor, as well as practical racing activity partner via the integration of the logistics brand’s transport services into Ferrari’s global freight movement.


UPS join an impressive line-up of main sponsors for the Ferrari Scuderia F1 team that includes Fiat, Hublot, Kaspersky, Philip Morris, Santander, Shell, TNT and Weichair Power.


These sit alongside am equally strong set of official partners that number IIR, Infor, Iveco, Magneti Marelli, Mahle, NGK, Pirelli, Puma and SKF.


Scuderia Ferrari, founded in 1947, is almost certainly the most famous name in racing (and is also the most successful). Ferrari has competed in the F1 World Championship continuously since its inception in 1950 and holds a slew of records).


But quite how this new deal with gas-guzzling brand Ferrari and property F1 fits in with some of UPS’ other eco-led global sponsorships remains to be seen.


For example, initially it seems to sit uncomfortably alongside UPS’ partnership role with entertainment giant Live Nation – for whom it is also fulfils the role of official sustainability partner.


This alliance includes a carbon-neutral equipment and ticketing shipping commitment through a comprehensive offsetting programme.


Perhaps a similar commitment will develop with the world’s top motor racing team?




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