The Red Bull Formula One team has signed a new title sponsorship deal with Oracle for over $500 million, making it one of the most lucrative commercial arrangements in sports.
About the Deal
The five-year partnership gives the team a boost ahead of the season, which starts next month and will see Max Verstappen defend his world title in a new Oracle Red Bull Racing car, which was also unveiled on Wednesday.
The financial terms of the arrangement were not released, but a source close to the situation told The Associated Press that it was worth roughly $100 million each year. To discuss sensitive conditions, the person spoke on the condition of anonymity.
In an interview with The Associated Press at the team’s central England headquarters, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “We’re all about speed and the speed of response.”
“We’re pushing the Oracle technical guys. But they’re responding in the best possible way. And that’s what makes this partnership very exciting.”
Oracle’s cloud computing is also considered as a method to stretch the budget further, with a new cost maximum of $145 million for teams imposed for the 2019 season.
Horner said: “We’ve got a brand-new set of regulations, a new technical challenge,”
“We’ve got financial regulations that are driving and forcing efficiency, which is again where this partnership helps us to make sure that we’re as efficient and productive as we possibly can be.”
Resources to Help
When championships are on the line, extra resources and any advantage in computer power can aid, as they did in December on the penultimate lap of the season’s final race, when Verstappen controversially overtook Lewis Hamilton and dethroned the Mercedes driver as world champion.
In a video call, Oracle executive vice president Ariel Kelman, the chief marketing officer said: “I’ll take a certain American’s perspective”
“F1 is the fastest growing sport that we’re seeing in terms of excitement here and around the world and for technology companies.”
“It’s just such a perfect fit because it’s the most high-tech sport, the most dangerous sport. So, it just provides an amazing showcase for all the amazing technology.”
Aside from the cash, which is another indicator of Formula One’s resurgence, Red Bull will use the Austin-based company’s experience in cloud computing, engine development, and driver development.
Kelman is a rookie to Formula One, having started watching in 2018 and became progressively enthralled as the Netflix docuseries “Drive to Survive” launched the following year, taking fans behind the scenes.