By Rebecca Whitlocke | The crown in Monaco’s event calendar since 1929, the Monaco Grand Prix has been fortunate to attract backing from illustrious sponsors such as Renault, TAG-Heuer and UBS. The preparation for this Grand Prix is rigorous, both on and off circuit. As one of the world’s most high-profile events, brands are broadening their portfolios to showcase themselves and reach the next generation of customers. Rebecca Whitlocke spoke to some of the companies present at the Monaco Grand Prix who are embracing partnerships as an integral part of their business success.
Champagne Carbon is the youngest Champagne brand to have ever been on the podium of Formula 1. They have pride at defying conventions in the world of Champagne and shine a light as a luxury brand ready to break the rules.
Alexandre Mea, CEO of Champagne Carbon, explains their mission to respect craftsmanship but simultaneously look to the future. He says: “The partnership between Champagne Carbon and Formula 1 is, for us, the perfect fusion of ideas. We share a similar story – of great heritage, the constant pursuit of perfection and a relentless desire to innovate”.
Forging a path in Monaco mixes storytelling with a unique opportunity to differentiate amongst competitors. “My family has been involved in making Champagne for almost two centuries and has been a producer since 1920, around the same time that the first true golden era of Grand Prix racing was beginning”. Alexandre added: “Since then, we have always sought to be different and set new standards. The only rule our Champagne follows – giving the best pleasure to those who drink it, with no compromise regarding the quality of our wine”.
The story continues
Louis Starck, Hotel Manager at the Fairmont Monte Carlo, defines why their well-known location on the circuit is a memorable part of their guest experience. He notes: “The Formula 1 Grand Prix is definitely one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world. Many guests long to come to the legendary Principality of Monaco, watching racing cars negotiate the most famous bend in the championship, the Fairmont Hairpin. Staying at the Fairmont Monte Carlo means being truly in pole position”.
Crucially, the importance of maintaining outstanding customer service during celebrated events is part of their hospitality. Louis continues: “The service we provide is one of the most important components of a global, unique and premium event; a factor that contributes to maintain the exceptional image and glamour the Monaco Grand Prix offers. The creativity, originality and standard of the different events and venues that we create during the Grand Prix weekend are part of the guest journey. ‘Beyond excellence’ is our motto, a true partnership where being part of a global brand gives us the possibility to use a great network like specialized Formula 1 agencies to promote our offer within the main markets like UK and Italy, but also over the ocean”. The hotel’s reputation is second to none with four Grand Prix Suites that offer three balconies: one with the double view on the track over the famous Fairmont Hairpin and the entrance to the tunnel; while two others overlook the splendid Riviera.
Monaco is a microcosm of nationalities and being highly responsive to a global clientele is key to attracting partners that reinforce the company’s values.
All four suites have been dedicated to Formula 1 drivers that have personally inaugurated them: Sir Stirling Moss, David Coulthard, Jean Alesi, and Ayrton Senna (inaugurated by Bianca Senna last year in the presence of H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco). The suites feature unique items given by the pilots or the family themselves and have housed many celebrities.
Strong support for showing the region at its best is deep-rooted in the French Riviera. As the Director of Experience The French Riviera, Jameson Farn oversees luxury villa rentals not only within the French Riviera but also throughout France: “When our clients are coming to this part of the world, we like to take it a step further and offer our services as lifestyle managers to connect them with whatever they may need which may be tickets to events, private car service or a chartered yacht with our locally trusted business partners”.
Monaco is a microcosm of nationalities and being highly responsive to a global clientele is key to attracting partners that reinforce their company values. “Our clients are internationally savvy, for the most part they reside in North America so it’s important that we continue to grow our business partnerships to provide the quickest, safest and most effective all-around services for their stay. We also show what we are able to provide through our ever-expanding social media network”, Jameson explains.
Media coverage surrounding the prestige and international appeal of the Monaco Grand Prix is a valuable way to build partnerships. Jameson adds: “This was our first year working with Amber Lounge for the Monaco Grand Prix and we could not be happier. Right from the start, they had various plans in place for the whole weekend and many different options available to let clients have the best experiences possible. We recommend them highly”.
A destination for new deals
Formula 1 is no stranger to premium advertising and marketing, but the evolution of event promotion has allowed the growth of unique channels that allow brands to bypass ephemeral opportunities and rethink their international marketing strategies.
One Scottish-based company has cultivated a privileged relationship for companies to stand out at leading events, using the world recognised image of the Scottish Kilt attire to create a distinctive feature and grow brand awareness.
Colin Stuart, Owner and Founder of Kiltads Authentic Motorsport Marketing, says brand exposure at world-class events can be invaluable and being a focal point in locations such as Monaco instils quality and commitment to the right audience.
Colin highlights the benefits for their partners: “We have now appeared at Monaco, Singapore and Abu Dhabi Formula 1 races including VIP yachts and private functions with various celebrities. Additionally, we have a presence at The Grand Prix Ball, Autosport International and British Touring Car Championship, as well as actively supporting charity events which is a wonderful way to highlight our social responsibility. We offer crowd-friendly visibility that creates great fan base media, as well as one-to-one networking at VIP functions”.
Going forward, Kiltads will partner with jetlogic private jets to leverage their excellent connections with key Formula 1 contacts, drivers and teams. Plans are underway to embark on the release of their first Monaco Hospitality yacht which will bring everything that Scotland has to offer to the forefront of European events, fostering business whilst giving guests a memorable Monaco experience.
Media coverage surrounding the prestige and international appeal of the Monaco Grand Prix is a valuable way to build partnerships as well.
Certainly, Formula 1’s slick marketing efforts aim to make motor racing more accessible. Top of mind for today’s generation of consumers is fresh creativity and being bolder with advertising.
As Ben Collison, Director of Pure Design International, which counts Coca Cola, Williams Martini Racing and Exxon as clients, puts it: “We’re an English-speaking creative agency based on the French Riviera specialising in design and print, working alongside agencies from around the world to help with all print and event solutions from the Cannes Film Festival to Cannes Lions and the Monaco Grand Prix. From wrapping 47m yachts to floating 3m logos in swimming pools, we have seen and done it all”.
Ben enthuses that companies are open to enhancing their advertising each year: “Gone are the days of large posters being enough. Branding has gone 3D, more visual, bigger and certainly more daring – which makes our job so very exciting”.
Rebecca Whitlocke is a freelance writer based on the French Riviera, specialising in bringing destinations to life with a luxury twist. She has contributed to yachting publications and luxury media in ten countries around the world.