The Marussia F1 team kicked off race day at the British Grand Prix by announcing a partnership with UK football club Reading FC.
Both operations are Russian-owned, with entrepreneur Anton Zingarevich having acquired Championship-level contender Reading in May 2012, and the alliance is being billed as 'a meeting of minds' between two major sporting properties operating in the two most high profile sports in the world.
Similar to the partnership announced between the Sauber team and another Russian-owned football outfit, Chelsea, last season, the two parties will enjoy an exchange of benefits including significant branding exposure in their respective team environments, joint marketing and promotional initiatives, as well as integration at a human performance level, collaborating on fitness, nutrition and coaching programmes.
"This is a fantastic partnership which allows us to connect two global sporting brands,” Reading CEO Nigel Howe commented, “Both of us are based in the Thames Valley and are hugely ambitious; it is clear that we have plenty in common and can learn from each other. We will be proud to see our badge displayed at some of the world's most iconic tracks. This is one of many ambitious projects we have announced in the last year or so, and I'm sure our supporters will share our excitement."
'The Royals' will feature on the MR02 race cars of Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi for the first time in today's race at Silverstone.
“Of course, next year we will have two home races when we head to Sochi for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix but, for the moment, we are a Russian-owned team based on British soil which is the basis for a great deal of synergy with our friends at Reading FC,” Marussia CEO Andy Webb acknowledged.
“Through F1, we are able to combine our love of racing with our strategic business objectives for the Marussia brand, but we are also part of a sport within sport, so naturally we are keen to look more comprehensively at what we can learn from other sporting properties and, indeed, what they can learn from F1. This is all part of our ethos of taking our team and F1 to the widest possible audience.
“We look forward to working with Anton Zingarevich and his team to achieve a fully integrated partnership and we are delighted to welcome representatives from 'The Royals' to Silverstone today.”