2 Hugo Boss left the team for Mercedes last year
3 Watchmaker TAG-Heuer has signed a deal with Red Bull to brand its Renault engines for 2016.
4 TAG-Heuer had been a partner of McLaren’s for 30 years
5 The TAG brand was used to badge the team’s Porsche-built engines for five years in the 1980s.
6 Ron Dennis said TAG-Heuer’s ‘approach to sponsorship, which included dressing model Cara Delevingne in a pink racesuit at the Monaco Grand Prix, no longer matched McLaren’s’.
This is the killer quote:
“Let’s go to the one [sponsor] which has got phenomenal headlines, and I don’t know why, the TAG Heuer brand,” Dennis said before the Red Bull’s engine branding had been announced. “This is a brand that we’ve been associated with for a very long time, but we actually had equity and involvement, I myself controlled the sales and marketing of that company in the early days and I was a shareholder in the company. It went through a variety of iterations, changes of ownership, and while the thread of history got pulled tighter and tighter, the current chief executive and I fundamentally disagreed about some things. I didn’t share his view on his radical approach to sponsorship, which I felt was inappropriate for our brand, let alone his. There was a particular moment in Monte Carlo that I didn’t particularly feel was positive. Plus that thread was taut, and the numbers declined over a period of time.”
7 LMVH, TAG Heuer’s parent company, is still a McLaren partner via the Hennessy Moet brand.
“I never give away numbers but I can tell you that our relationship under that brands is multiples more valuable than the financial situation with TAG Heuer.”
8 Dennis says he won’t drop his prices
“I’m very robust on the rate card,” he said. “I have an overview, as the chief executive of the group, where our revenue streams are and it’s my job to predict where we are going to go.
9 He was keen to spread the story to his competitors
“You don’t need to be an Einstein to know that the environment for F1 and for sport overall is challenging, I don’t think you’ve seen a new sponsor at Ferrari for two years for example. The worst thing you can do is get into a situation where you drop your rate card and everything spirals out of control.
10 The ‘Show us your medals’ conclusion
“Do I lose sleep over it? No I don’t. We are strong, very strong financially. The equity value of our organisation is now well over £1 billion and all of our businesses are profitable.”