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Heineken seal multi-year Formula 1 sponsorship deal

Partnership to start at 2016 Italian GP, which has been renamed; Heineken will be title sponsorship of three grands prix from 2017

Heineken have been confirmed as a new global sponsor of Formula 1, with the multi-year partnership to start at this year's Italian Grand Prix.

The deal includes track-side Heineken branding as well as TV adverts, live fan experiences and more - while the Dutch brewing giant will be F1's exclusive beer partner, having access across the majority of events.

It will begin at September's Italian GP, which has been renamed Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken D'Italia 2016, and from 2017 onwards the company will be the title sponsor of three grands prix. 

"Heineken is a premium international brand with a super reputation for first class marketing," Bernie Ecclestone said. "I am very pleased to welcome them to the Formula 1 family and look forward to the scale and quality of their activation at and away from F1 Events.

"We are both in the innovation and enjoyment business and I hope that this is the start of a long and special relationship."

The sport has proven attractive to major brands in the past, with Red Bull currently running four cars in the championship while the Benetton family also used to own a team. Heineken's logo, however, will not be visible on any teams or cars.

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Natalie Pinkham is joined by former F1 driver Mark Blundell and Sky F1 pundit Marc Priestley as we look ahead to the Canadian Grand Prix.

It is Heineken's first major foray into motorsport but they hope to engage fans with PR initiatives, while they will use their involvement with F1 to promote the 'If You Drive, Never Drink' campaign.

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"Formula 1 is bigger than a race. It is a global event," Gianluca Di Tondo, senior director global brand at Heineken, said. "The hallmark of our long and successful relationships with UEFA Champions League, Rugby World Cup and the James Bond franchise is our passion to excite our consumers," 

"We will be bringing this passion to Formula 1."

David Coulthard and Sir Jackie Stewart will be ambassadors for the respective campaigns.

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