Sauber link up with Chelsea
Sauber have entered into a commercial partnership with Chelsea, with the relationship to see both the teams display one another's logo.
The two parties say the relationship is "focused on ways to enhance sporting and business performance" and that they will work together on areas including sport science, launching joint commercial initiatives, merchandising, events, marketing and linked sponsorship opportunities.
The logo 'Welcome Chelsea FC' will appear on Sauber's C31 at this week's Mugello test ahead of the partnership being officially launched at next week's Spanish Grand Prix. In return, Sauber's logo will feature on perimeter advertising boards at Stamford Bridge and on interview walls.
Sauber chief executive Monisha Kaltenborn said: "A partnership like this between Formula One and football has never existed before in this form, yet there are numerous commonalities and possible synergies.
"In either case we are talking about team sport at the highest - and international - level. The Sauber F1 team and Chelsea FC are dealing with many of the same sporting and commercial topics and we want to strengthen each other in these areas.
"We are looking forward to exploiting these opportunities, and we congratulate Chelsea on making it to the final of the Champions League."
The new relationship explains why Sauber ran with what at the time appeared rather curious phrases 'out of the blue' and 'true blue' on their C31's engine cover at the recent Chinese and Bahrain Grands Prix, which led to talk that a new sponsor was imminent.
With Sauber celebrating their 20th year of F1 involvement, and Chelsea in their 20th year in the Premier League, the football club's chief executive Ron Gourlay believes the two sporting teams share core values.
"This is an innovative partnership that will see a football club link up with a Formula One team like never before, bringing together two of the world's biggest sports and uniting our fans. We felt that this Swiss team, the fourth oldest of the existing teams, reflects our own ideals perfectly," he said.
"In a year when Chelsea celebrates 20 seasons as a Premier League team, Sauber does so as a Formula One team. We share many philosophies when it comes to how the respective organisations are run, from the development of young talent to constantly striving for success. Sauber's philosophy towards grassroots development has produced some of the best drivers in F1, which mirrors our dedication to develop promising young football talent through our academy.
"This partnership will benefit us both greatly, with the potential to create unique commercial opportunities. It is a shared vision to unite the two most attractive sports in the world. We look forward to working closely with the Sauber F1 team and wish them the very best of luck for the remainder of the Formula One season."