H-P's Formula One Grand Prix Sponsorship
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H-P's Formula One Grand Prix Sponsorship

As the technology sponsor for Jaguar Racing and the IT supplier for Jordan Grand Prix Racing, the event provided Hewlett-Packard an opportunity to build momentum and generate coverage around its F1 involvement.

Paul Holmes

For the first time in nine years, Formula 1 World Championship auto racing returned to the U.S. on September 24, 2000 at the legendary “Brickyard” – Indianapolis Motor Speedway – on a newly constructed 2.61-mile road course. 
 
As the technology sponsor for Jaguar Racing and the IT supplier for Jordan Grand Prix Racing, the event provided Hewlett-Packard an opportunity to build momentum and generate media coverage around its F1 involvement.
 
HP provides both teams with a total integrated IT solution consisting of advanced computer systems for use in car and engine design; personal computers and other office equipment for the team’s business infrastructure; and telemetry systems for measuring and interpreting car and engine data.
 
HP requested WSW’s assistance in demonstrating that HP is the “total solutions provider” and “innovative technology leader” through its involvement with two successful teams in the world’s most popular and demanding form of motorsports – F1 racing.        
 
In addition to sports media in general and motorsports press in particular, there was
an opportunity to showcase HP products and services as well as its new brand image across a wide range of consumer, business, ad/marketing, high tech and interactive audiences.
 
OBJECTIVES
 
Demonstrate that HP is the “total solutions provider” and “innovative technology leader” through its involvement with two successful teams in the world’s most popular and demanding form of motorsports – F1 racing.
 
Express that HP products and services are critical to the success of these teams in the most technologically demanding sport.
 
Exhibit that HP is committed to delivering high quality, highly reliable products in a demanding theater (F1 racing).
 
Use the inaugural U.S. Grand Prix event as a platform to showcase HP’s advanced technology and innovative products and services.
 
PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION
 
Media Outreach:
  • Carried out a comprehensive media outreach effort to support HP’s F1 involvement that   included the development of a master “media matrix” with specific stories and pitch angles for each target media category (sports/motorsports, business, consumer/general interest/lifestyle,  advertising/ marketing, high tech, interactive, etc.) focusing on HP’s  technology sponsorship. 
  • Worked with HP to best utilize the company’s expert personnel and spokespeople with the media to highlight its products and services. 
  • Developed a detailed press package for use with television, radio, print and interactive media in all categories.
 
Interactive PR:
  • Developed a multimedia web site to reinforce HP’s innovative technology story.  This Internet press kit integrated streaming audio/video, photos, line art,  logos, charts, graphics and hyperlinks to HP, Jaguar, Jordan and U.S. Grand Prix sites.
  • Produced an online technology press briefing for media to learn more about HP’s involvement in F1 racing.  Speakers included: Mark Gallagher, Jordan Grand Prix marketing director; Steven Sparrow, Jaguar marketing director; Rick Parfitt, Jaguar sponsorship manager; Geoff Banks, Jordan sponsorship manager; and Gary Morgan, Jordan/HP technical manager.
 
Events:
Conducted media events with HP, Jaguar Racing and Jordan Grand Prix during the week leading up to the race, which included:
  • The “Saks Cyber Café” to reinforce Jaguar/HP’s participation in Fashion Targets Breast Cancer and launch saksfifthavenue.com.
  • A publicity stunt in New York where Eddie Irvine and Johnny Herbert raced the F1 racer and a city cab down Broadway that provided exposure opportunities for Jaguar and HP.
  • Jaguar Racing’s media event in Indianapolis that provided media with an opportunity to talk with its drivers and team personnel, race go-karts and test-drive the latest models. 
 
Onsite Coordination:
  • Coordinated a “behind the scenes” video that highlighted HP products and services  involved with the running of the inaugural U.S. Grand Prix.
  • Provided onsite support during race week to coordinate media coverage of HP sponsored events and arranged media interviews with HP experts, sponsored drivers, spokespeople, etc. and assisted with onsite hospitality for key customers and prospects.
  • The impact and quality of the news coverage generated on behalf of HP’s F1 technology sponsorship involvement, along with the support effort proved successful in accomplishing the program’s overall public relations goals. 
 
The U.S. Grand Prix provided an ideal platform to demonstrate that HP products and services are Critical components of the success of these teams in the demanding theater of F1 racing.  Key customers and prospects were provided an “up close and personal” look at the how HP products and services were utilized by both teams in helping them gain a competitive advantage in the world’s most technologically-demanding sport. 
 
Team members and HP personnel were on hand in Indianapolis to explain how the total integrated IT solution – consisting of everything from advanced computer systems that help in designing the car and engine to personal computers and other office equipment for the team’s business infrastructure to telemetry systems for measuring and interpreting car and engine date on a race-by-race basis – could benefit business customers no matter how large or small.
 
In addition to onsite hospitality at the race, WSW is now creating sales & marketing materials (audio/video, CD-ROM, posters, brochures, etc.) to bring the F1experience directly to customers and prospects in key categories around the world.
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