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Monday 11 January 2021

Cognizant targets global recognition through F1 tie-up

LogoCognizant has become a title partner with Aston Martin on its return after more than sixty years to Formula 1 racing. The team will be known as Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team. The India-centric services major’s role extends beyond that of a sponsor. Through a multiyear association, the company will also be supporting the iconic British car band’s renewed F1 ambitions as its digital transformation partner.

Cognizant’s strategic priorities include the ambitions to both reposition and broaden the global reach of its brand. The tie-up with Aston Martin is a significant, high-profile step along this path. It is, however, likely to have come with a significant price tag. Forbes calculated that the average price of a team sponsorship deal came to $3.3m last year with global partners such as Heineken and Rolex paying estimated annual fees of $50m and $45m respectively.

The worldwide appeal of F1 and its dependence on advanced technologies have for many years held an allure for both the marketing dollars and collaborative involvement of leading SITS vendors. Accenture had a long association with the Williams Team between the mid-nineties and the mid-noughties. A glance over the list of sponsors of last season’s teams shows Microsoft backing Renault, Hewlett Packard Enterprise supporting Mercedes and IBM working with Red Bull Racing. Cognizant is nonetheless joining a relatively exclusive club.

The F1 partnership is the latest in a series of eye-catching moves by the New Jersey-HQ’d SI that have included both a number of heavyweight hires (see here) and an uptick in the pace of acquisitions on which the company spent $1.1bn in 2020. Cognizant CEO, Brian Humphries appears to be moving forward with pace and purpose. He must, however, hoping that Aston Martin’s return to Grand Prix is more successful than its prior two year participation as a Formula One constructor. In 1959 and 1960 the car manufacturer entered six races over the two years but failed to score any points.

Posted by: Duncan Aitchison

Tags: offshore   systemsintegration   sponsorship  

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