In the first sponsorship deal of its kind, Swiss Formula One racing team Sauber is linking up with the English premier league football team Chelsea, giving them a “significant market presence” outside their own sport.
Each team will feature the other’s logo and will also sell each other’s merchandise.
The announcement ended speculation about the meaning of the slogans “Out of the Blue” and “True Blue” which have featured on Sauber engine covers at the last two Grand Prix – Shanghai and Bahrain – respectively.
“The combination of both platforms at the sponsoring level is highly attractive, especially for international brands. In addition, existing sponsors of both partners profit from joint events,” said a statement on the Sauber and Chelsea websites on Monday.
“A partnership like this between Formula One and football has never existed before in this form, yet there are numerous commonalities and possible synergies,” said Sauber chief executive Monisha Kaltenborn.
“The Sauber F1 team and Chelsea FC are dealing with many of the same sporting and commercial topics and we want to strengthen each other in these areas.”
Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said the two teams shared many of the same philosophies, “from the development of young talent to constantly striving for success”.
Chelsea’s actual blue logo will be seen for the first time on Sauber cars at the Spanish Grand Prix in May.