British American Racing got a financial boost in the arm to start the new year. The F1 team, which embarks on its inaugural season later this year, has signed up Montreal-based Teleglobe as a major sponsor.
Financial terms were not released but its believed the deal is for Five years and could be worth as much as $110-million.
BAR managing director Craig Pollock, who was present in Montreal for the announcement, says the deal will help his team achieve its goals in the short term. Pollock also referred to the agreement as a "strategic partnership" as well as a sponsorship.
While Canadian companies are often criticised for not doing enough to promote racing and drivers within Canada, Pollock says he has always had great success mining Canadian sponsorships.
"It appears Canada seems to like us," said Pollock who added that he is talking to several other Canadian firms about possible sponsorship dollars.
The fact that former CART and F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve drives for Pollock's new team also appeals to potential Canadian sponsors as fans clearly identify with Villeneuve.
British American Racing will unveil their 1999 challengers on Wednesday. Watch for Pollock to debut both cars with different sponsors on each chassis. That would be in defiance of a FIA ruling late last year which says teams must present their cars with one single livery. Pollock recently decided to take FIA to court to overturn the ruling, saying he would do everything possible to protect the interests of the sponsors.
Thanks to John Marchesan of tsn.ca