JANUARY 5, 2001
Soccer rivals F1 for sponsor money
THE English football industry is booming at the moment and there is a currently a big battle going on to sponsor the Premier League. The league's current sponsor is the Carling brand of lager which is owned by the Bass brewing company, which paid $45m for a three-year deal for the 1999, 2000 and 2001 seasons. This investment would not have bought the sidepods of a top F1 team but the popularity of soccer and the increasing international interest in the Premier League made the deal worthwhile. Now it is rumored that Budweiser, Pepsi and Coca-Cola are all battling for the sponsorship and the next three-year deal is expected to raise twice as much money as Carling paid. And while F1 sponsorships have increased in value, the leap is nowhere near as big as the growth rate for naming rights to the Premier League. If a $30m a year deal is agreed, Formula 1 should ask itself why that money was not spent on Grand Prix racing...
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