Fresh from launching its 150th anniversary celebrations at a glittering event at the McLaren Technology Centre on Wednesday evening, TAG Heuer announced that it has extended its partnership with the resident F1 team.
The relationship, signed in 1985, is one of the longest sports sponsorship deals in history, and the announcement underlines the ongoing successes that both brands continue to enjoy together.
“To announce the extension of a partnership that has already prospered for 25 years not only says a lot about the very close relationship that exists between TAG Heuer and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, but it also speaks volumes about the appeal, strength and sustainability offered to all partners by F1," team principal Martin Whitmarsh noted, “We both share a passion for precision technology, and we measure life in F1 by the stopwatch, so the long and prosperous relationship we've enjoyed with TAG Heuer feels entirely natural.”
Joining Whitmarsh among the guests of honour at Wednesday's event were McLaren's most recent F1 world champion, Lewis Hamilton, TAG Heuer president and CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, the brand's honorary chairman, Jack Heuer, and McLaren Automotive executive chairman Ron Dennis. However, the limelight belonged to a classic McLaren F1 car – the MP4/2C driven by Alain Prost to the world title in 1986 – which had been lovingly restored by the team's engineers before being driven around the lakeside entrance to the MTC by Hamilton.
The Briton parked the car at the entrance to the building alongside the 2008 championship-winning MP4-23, and the two legendary machines neatly encapsulated the ongoing strength and health of the 25-year winning relationship between McLaren and TAG Heuer as it prepares to embark on an extraordinary anniversary year.
The 2010 season will mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the company, which proudly bears the legend 'Swiss avant garde since 1860', as well as the 25th anniversary of its relationship with the McLaren team. The year will also see the launch of TAG Heuer's first-ever in-house movement, the 1887; the first time the Swiss watchmaker has developed its very own mechanism, as well as the relaunch of the classic Heuer Silverstone watch from the 1970s
“It's a matter of considerable pride to all of us at TAG Heuer that we can not only look back on a fantastically successful 25-year relationship, but that we can continue to share our vision together long into the future," Babin commented, “In many ways, TAG Heuer has become synonymous with F1 and, in particular, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team. Many of our ambassadors – Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton – have become some of F1's greatest champions, and our timepieces will long continue to celebrate the accuracy, the precision and even the history of this great sport.”