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Lenovo adds San Marino title rights to MotoGP portfolio

(Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

Chinese tech brand Lenovo is to title sponsor this year’s Gran Premio di San Marino MotoGP race – marking the brand’s first time as a lead sponsor at a major motorsports event.

The race, officially named the Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, will be held at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in September.

The deal was made with MotoGP organisers, Dorna Sports, and will see Lenovo become the most prominent brand at the event, with a presence at the start bridge, the podium, the press conference backdrops, the last corner and more.

SportBusiness understands form industry sources that title deals for races in MotoGP’s heartlands in Spain and Italy are typically worth between $1m (€0.85m) and $1.5m per race; however, a 20-per-cent discount was offered in this case because spectators will not be allowed at the race as part of MotoGP’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read this: Data Snapshot: Motorsport 2020

Lenovo is already an important sponsor of MotoGP, paying around $3m per year in cash and value-in-kind as a technical partner, according to industry experts.

Under its multi-year official supplier deal, signed in 2019, Lenovo gets branding rights linked to on-screen graphics during TV broadcasts at every MotoGP and prominent banners in the pitlane at each circuit.

Lenovo laptops, PC’s, monitors and servers are used by Dorna in its day-to-day office operations and at all MotoGP weekends. Lenovo technology is used in the broadcast of the Championship worldwide, as well as analysis of computations from sensors, like the gyroscopic 4K cameras on each MotoGP motorbike.

In a separate agreement with Dorna, Lenovo is a sponsor of the MotoGP eSports Championships in a deal valued by experts at around $200,000 per year. The sponsorship has promoted the Lenovo Legion gaming brand since 2018.

Luca Rossi, senior vice president in the Intelligent Devices Group at Lenovo, said the title deal will “deepen our growing partnership with Dorna Sports.”

In April, SportBusiness learned that MotoGP’s central sponsors had stayed loyal amid the disrupted 2020 season. At that time, 80 per cent of MotoGP’s mid-to-long term central sponsors, which are the majority in the portfolio, had paid up for the quarter ending in March or the start of April. It is further understood that agreements have been found with all central sponsors for the current season.

As well as its central association with MotoGP, Lenovo has been the official technology partner of the Ducati MotoGP team since the 2018 season.