The Ferrari Formula One team has announced that Marlboro’s parent company Phillip Morris International (PMI) will continue to support the team until the end of 2015. The widely predicted announcement means that the team will continue to be known as Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro.
Although tobacco advertising is widely banned, meaning no Marlboro logos have adorned Ferrari cars in Formula One since 2008, PMI is believed to be paying US$160 million per season to the team. In previous years Ferrari kept the connection to Marlboro alive despite the ban by running a barcode design on its cars, circumnavigating the tobacco laws in the process. Last year, the team revealed its own new racing logo, which bears a resemblance to that of Marlboro.
Well placed industry sources indicated that the US$160 million value of the deal extension is along similar lines to the previous agreement between the companies, which was due to finish at the end of next year. The new contract is effectively a three year deal covering 2013 to 2015.
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Marlboro’s long history in Formula One began in 1972. Two years later it began a long and famous association with the McLaren team, which ran until 1996. Marlboro also began sponsoring Ferrari during that period and became title sponsor of the team in 1997. Its historic connection to the team is seen as providing much of the value of the new agreement.