pulls off another publicity coup - 1st April 2009
SEPANG, Malaysia (AFP) —
Richard Branson has proved time and again that
he is one of the world's shrewdest businessmen,
but his move to put the Virgin Group logo on the
Brawn GP cars is timing at its best.
month the maverick multi-millionaire, who has
already invested heavily in planes and trains,
looked like he was going to buy into automobiles
by taking over the Honda team.
he waited until Ross Brawn paid to do that --
and then put his company's name on the car, the
only logo on the rookie team's livery.
was a major publicity coup for the British entrepreneur,
who was in Melbourne to see Jenson Button and
Rubens Barrichello cross the line first and second
respectively at the season-opening Australian
newspaper reports said he paid as little as 200,000
pounds to have the Virgin Group name seen by an
estimated television audience of 170 million people,
probably one of the best deals in sport.
Branson is apparently interested in increasing
his investment and taking a stake in the team,
with full naming rights a possibility.
would suggest you watch this space, as we will
have further announcements to make in three weeks
from now," Branson told the official Formula1.com
plan is to work closer together in the years to
a long-time Formula One fan, has said previously
that the huge costs of running a team and the
lack of green technology were issues that needed
to be addressed before he entered the sport.
now the timing appears to be right, with a budget
cap due to be enforced on teams next year and
green fuels being developed.
have been friends with Bernie (Ecclestone) and
known him for many years. He has tried to tempt
us in and we have been a reluctant bride up until
now," said Branson.
Honda decided to step out of Formula One, there
were some brilliant engineers led by Ross Brawn
who looked like being out of work.
we decided to see whether we could help him to
save the team and tie up and work together.
appears that we have chosen a good time to enter
into this relationship, and I am glad that I have
resisted Bernie in the past, as timing is everything
Formula One has always been synonymous with big
money and glamour, the flamboyant Branson, who
launched his career with Virgin Records in the
1970s, feels it would benefit from more "rock'n'roll."
One has lost some brands, and Virgin is definitely
a sexy, fun and 'rock'n'roll' brand. Virgin has
brought you the Rolling Stones and the Sex Pistols,"
plan to thoroughly enjoy our involvement in Formula
One and bring some extra life to it and do things
in the Virgin way.
plan to be innovative and I want to pursue Bernie
and Max (Mosley), not only to pioneer great engineering,
but also pioneer clean fuels.
have been developing a clean fuel for Formula
One, which works, and hope to introduce it to
also would be delighted to help Bernie in trying
to reduce the costs, to try to encourage more
brands to join Formula One to keep it exciting."