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CNN Looks Beyond Sport With F1 Deal

It’s rare that a broadcaster signs a big global sports sponsorship without some desirable rights underpinning the deal.

CNN’s multi-year tie-up with McLaren Technology Group, securing branding on the front-wing end-plates of McLaren-Honda’s new Formula 1 car, is taking a slightly different tack.

McLaren Technology Group, a high-end engineering and data analytics company, is diversifying beyond motorsport to apply its expertise to a variety of other industries, from healthcare to energy to aviation.

While CNN, which isn’t an official F1 media partner, will work with McLaren on cross-marketing opportunities, the news channel also plans to produce programs on multiple topics in McLaren’s Technology Campus in the UK. These will be broadcast worldwide.

“We don’t have a specified number of programmes and we’re not limited to a particular type of genre,” a CNN representative tells Media Business Asia. “However we don’t see the focus as necessarily being F1. It’s a thought leadership center, so programming could be in areas such as technology innovation.”

In a press statement, McLaren Technology Group chairman and CEO Ron Dennis described the partnership between the two companies as unique.

“It operates on a very broad scope,” he said. “Our shared love of technology has united us. Together we will pursue new opportunities far beyond the conventional scope of a Formula 1 partnership.”

The new McLaren-Honda MP4-30 car was unveiled in an online launch yesterday.

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