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F1 sponsors hit by global recession
The world’s economy is still reeling from the traumas of September and October.

F1 sponsors give $300m to F1 teams each year - but more and more of those companies are reporting huge profit falls and staff cut backs. Some are even falling back on their national governments for financial support.

Could we soon see a major reduction in F1 sponsorship? Here’s a look at how some of the biggest names in F1 sponsorship are faring in the growing global recession.

AMD - Electronics

AMD began to experience problems before the economic downturn, beginning with its $5.4bn purchase of ATI. It has posted a loss for eight consecutive quarters and cut staff, but in October announced $8.4bn of investment from Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways - Airlines

The very high oil prices earlier this year put huge pressure on airlines, forcing 30 to close this year. Those prices have now fallen but reduced demands for passenger seats and cargo continues to squeeze airlines. However the emerging Asian airlines like Etihad are in the strongest position, and in July the company made one of the largest aircraft purchases ever, worth $20bn.

Santander - Financial services

Reported a 4.7% increase in profit in the third quarter of 2008. Writing in the comments last month, Shostak explained why Santander are weathering the global financial crisis better than their rivals:

Emilio Botín, as he says, only buy a bank which he knows very well. This is his policy. Spanish banks only give credit to people with solid guarantees. European banks have gone bankrupt while not a single Spanish bank is in that situation.

The bigger concern for Mclaren about Santander was that they might take their sponsorship to Ferrari along with ex-McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso. But with Alonso now committed to McLaren, and Renault already backed by another financial institution, that now seems less of a threat.

Intel - Electronics

Intel’s stock price has fallen by half since December. But it still dominates the global market for computer chips and CEO Paul Otellini has said that although sales will be down in 2009 he believes Intel has cut costs sufficiently to be able to bear them.

Dell - Electronics

The Texan computer giant has stopped hiring staff in the USA and asked employees to take a week’s unpaid leave. Techcrunch estimates Dell has shed 8,900 jobs so far.

Credit Suisse - Financial services

Credit Suisse lost significant amounts on the loans it held and reported a third-quarter loss of $1.1bn on Thursday.

ING Group - Financial services

ING’s sponsorship of Renault is due to end after 2009. However the Dutch bank has received €10bn ($12.73bn) in support from the Netherlands government, which may lead to questions about whether it is appropriate to continue its sponsorship of F1, which extends beyond Renault to include the title sponsorship of several Grands Prix.

Panasonic - Electronic goods

Despite quarterly profits falling 19%, Panasonic still claims it will achieves 8% profit growth for the entire financial year. It is taking over Sanyo in a deal worth a reputed $8.8bn.

Hamleys, Mydiamonds, All Saints, - Toys, jewellery, and fashion

These three companies are owned by Icelandic company Baugur. Iceland’s economy has been hit especially hard by the recession, with its government taking control of three largest banks. Bauagur has weathered the storm for the time being, but still has £1bn of debt.

Royal Bank of Scotland - Financial services

RBS, like ING, has received aid from its national government, and its sports sponsorship may now be seen as inappropriate given its support from the British taxpayer.

Lenovo - Electronics

Lenovo, the world’s fourth largest computer manufacturer, yesterday announced its earnings had fallen by 78% in the second quarter of the year. Its share price fall by 20% on the news, and it is cutting its global workforce of 23,200.

Air Asia - Airline

As with Etihad, Air Asia competes in a market under great pressure, but Asia is the stronger area of that market at present.

Allianz - Financial services

Yesterday Allianz posted a net loss of €2.02 billion ($2.56 billion) for the third quarter of the year. Much of this was losses incurred by Dresdner Bank, which Allianz then sold, amounting to €2.6bn in losses.

Force India F1 Team
Kingfisher - Airline

Facing similar circumstances to Etihad and Air Asia, but the difference here is that Kingfisher is owned by Force India boss Vijay Mallya.

Samsung - Conglomerate

Samsung’s investments extend beyond the realm of electronics for which they are well-known. Although that side of the business has recently given up its attempt to expand by taking over SanDisk, other areas are still very strong. Its shipbuilding business recently posted its largest ever profit.

Honda, Red Bull and Toro Rosso
These teams have few prominent sponsors. For the past two years Honda has used its livery to promote its environmental awareness message. Red Bull and Toro Rosso are used to promote Red Bull soft drinks.  F1Fanatic.co.uk

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