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1920 Worldwide wins sponsorship development role with Williams F1

(Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Formula 1 team Williams Racing has appointed London-based sport and entertainment agency 1920 Worldwide to help develop and sell its new commercial programme.

The agency’s global strategy development and property search team won the business after an extensive search by Williams for the right partner.

The partnership aims to disrupt traditional deal structures and deliver new opportunities for partners and venture developers in the sport.

Tim Hunt, commercial and marketing director at Williams Racing said: “Over the past few months, we’ve taken a thorough look at the marketplace as we thought about how to support our new commercial vision and it was clear from the beginning that 1920 understood both what makes Williams unique and what it is going to take to evolve our commercial programme.”

Simon White, chief executive of 1920 Worldwide, said the agency will help Williams “re-define what’s possible for partners in and around the fast-moving world of Formula 1”.

Williams has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis, with race day income evaporating from the 10 races cancelled or postponed to date.

The family-owned team has generally been well run from a business point of view – it made a net profit of $5.3m (€4.9m) in 2018 – but lacks a billionaire financial backer or major car partner to ease pressure on income.

Partly as a result of poor performances on the track, Williams posted a loss of more than £16m (€18.4m/$20.0m) for the first half of 2019 and lost its second-largest sponsor Rexona deal ahead of the 2020 season.

Earlier this month, it furloughed a number of employees until the end of May as part of a wider range of cost-cutting measures, which included a 20-per-cent pay cut for senior management and drivers.