Abu Dhabi-owned investment vehicle Mubadala Development Company has agreed to a one-year extension to its sponsorship of Ferrari’s Formula One team.
Mubadala said the original three-year deal had been extended through 2010 to cover Abu Dhabi’s first two F1 Grand Prix. The debut F1 race will be held in January 2009 on Yas Island, which will also feature a Ferrari theme park.
Mubadala, which bought a five per cent stake in Ferrari in 2005, said the deal will give it a much more prominent branding positioning.
From 2008 to 2010 Mubadala branding will appear on the nose cone of Ferrari’s race cars, at the car-maker’s test track in Italy and on the drivers’ helmets.
“The extension underlines Mubadala’s strategy to form partnerships with world-class businesses,” said Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, chief operating officer of Mubadala.
Mubadala’s announcement comes just days after Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways said it had signed a three-year sponsorship deal with the Ferrari F1 team, complementing existing partnerships with Chelsea Football Club, Harlequins Rugby Football Club and the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
Gulf firms are more and more turning to sport sponsorship as a way of raising their global profile. Arguably the Gulf’s most high-profile company, Emirates airline, has numerous sponsorship deals with sports teams and events, including Arsenal Football Club, the IRB World Sevens Series, the International Cricket Counsel and horse racing’s Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Mubadala supports Ferrari