Austrian water technology specialist, BWT – Best Water Technology – has upgraded its principal sponsor deal with Racing Point F1 to a full title sponsorship.
Under the new deal, the team will be known as ‘BWT Racing Point F1 Team’, while last year’s title sponsor, betting brand SportPesa, steps down from the role just one year into its two-year contract.
Otmar Szafnauer, team principal and chief executive at Racing Point said that SportPesa “had some difficulties in their home [Kenyan] market”, which led to the termination of the title agreement.
Earlier this week, Premier League club Everton announced that SportPesa would also stand down from its main shirt sponsorship at the end of this season.
Szafnauer told the specialist motorsports news service Motorsport.com that SportPesa could still be involved with the team at a different level. “We’re still talking to them and they’re friends of the team and hopefully we can also include them as part of our sponsors and partners,” he said.
The upgrade of the BWT brand means that BWT will feature even more prominently on the team’s new car, the RP20, and the brand’s pink and blue colours will dominate the car’s livery.
BWT were thought to be paying about $15m (€13.8m) per year for the main sponsor position, more than than SportPesa which joined the team last year for a discounted fee.
SportBusiness understands that SportPesa was paying $8m in year one of its deal with Racing Point and was contracted to pay $12m in year two.
Racing Point owner, Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, is thought to have accepted the low starting price in order to finalise the deal done before the start of last season. Stroll’s son Lance, along with Mexican teammate Sergio Pérez, are the team’s drivers.
The identity of the team, which finished in seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship last season, will be further transformed next year when the Aston Martin car brand takes over the team name.
The move follow’s Stroll senior’s minority investment, worth £182m (€219m/$237m), in Aston Martin last year.