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McLaren's Brown still pursuing 'big brands and big branding'


While Zak Brown is no longer seeking a title sponsor for McLaren, the American executive says the team is still pursuing commercial partnerships with big brands.

McLaren's depressed on-track performance in the last three years has taken its toll on the Woking-based outfit's ability to secure major sponsorship deals, with the team recording a net loss in fiscal year 2016.

McLaren's new partnership with Renault has rekindled its spirit however, and with it its hopes of seeing its performance return to the level its rich heritage deserves.

A rejuvenated McLaren would also likely boost its sponsorship prospects although Brown insists he is no longer seeking to add a big name alongside the McLaren name.

"I think there is not a lot of value in the naming of a team," Brown told CityAM.

"I want Vodafone on the car but I don't want to be called Vodafone McLaren. I want to build the McLaren brand.

"When I first started, I wanted a 'title sponsor', but now I don't think the market is there for a title level spend so I have created a business model that has more along the lines of a principal partner, a primary partner, a co-primary partner, major sponsors and associate sponsors.

"If someone came to me tomorrow and said 'I really want to be the title partner' we would have that conversation but we are not pursuing that.

"We are pursuing big brands and big branding."

McLaren recently announced commercial and technological partnerships with media broadcaster CNBC and tech giant Dell Technologies.

To help its commercial endeavours, McLaren announced last month the creation of a Business Advisory Group which includes 12 notable names from the business world. Their task will be first and foremost to delve into their respective networks to help extract commercial interest for McLaren.

"Their role is to advise, help and support myself and the leadership team in different areas of growing McLaren's business and absolutely sponsorship is one of those key elements. No doubt about it.

"They can help everywhere from their rolodex and strategies on industries to supporting when we are in presentations," he adds.

"That's all on the sponsorship side. We also have some brand experts and the McLaren brand is very near and dear so they can help us bring it into new markets."

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