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Renault signs first sponsor since crash-gate UPDATE (GMM)  Renault has signed its first sponsor in the wake of the crash-gate scandal.

With title backer ING and Mutua Madrilena both leaving the French team in the wake of the Singapore race-fixing affair, Renault announced on Wednesday that it has inked a three-year deal with the Dutch watchmaker TW Steel.

The maker of oversized watches' branding will feature as of this weekend in Abu Dhabi, where on Friday morning a photocall will be staged in the Yas Marina Circuit's pitlane to show the logos on the car's nose, front wing and sidepods.

The announcement also deals a blow to speculation that Renault may not be committed to F1 despite signing the 2012 Concorde Agreement.

"The partnership ... confirms the team's positive outlook for the years ahead," said managing director Jean-Francois Caubet.

10/28/09 TW Steel, the international Dutch watch brand specializing in oversized watches, is pleased to announce a three-year partnership with the Renault F1 Team in which the brand becomes the Enstone-based squad’s ‘Official Timing Partner’.

While the deal is effective from 2010 through to 2012, TW Steel will actually make its Formula One debut with the Renault F1 Team at this weekend’s 2009 season finale, hosted at the brand new Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, Friday 30th October – Sunday 1st November.

TW Steel, the name meaning ‘The Watch in Steel’, will enjoy prominent branding at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the R29’s nose cone, front-wing flaps, leading edge of the side-pods as well as on the drivers timing monitors and garage wall.  As of next season and beyond, the brand logo will also appear on team uniforms and driver racesuits.

“I believe our partnership with the Renault F1 Team provides a tremendous global platform for TW Steel,” commented TW Steel Chief Executive Officer, Jordy Cobelens.  “Formula One has immense appeal for a young, ambitious brand such as ours and we look forward to activating our relationship with the Renault F1 Team and ultimately engaging the consumer worldwide through a targeted marketing program.  This is an exciting time to be involved in Formula One and we look forward to continued success both on and off track through our new partnership.”

At the signing of the agreement, Renault F1 Team Managing Director, Jean-Francois Caubet said:  “We are delighted to join forces with TW Steel as the official timing partner of the Renault F1 Team.  Over the next three years we look forward to building a close and dynamic relationship as we strive to reach the highest level of performance on the racetrack.  The partnership brings great value for both the Renault F1 Team and TW Steel and confirms the team’s positive outlook for the years ahead.  I have no doubt that we will enjoy an exciting and successful future together.”

TW Steel leads the oversized watch market having launched in The Netherlands in 2005 with a simple four-watch collection.  Despite rapidly emerging as an innovative, bold lifestyle brand, now available worldwide in over 50 countries, TW Steel’s roots are based firmly on family foundations. 

The company is led by 27-year-old Jordy Cobelens, as Chief Executive Officer, while his father, Ton Cobelens, fulfils the role of Chief Design Officer.  Together they ensure that TW Steel’s collections are reflective of, and available for all tastes and occasions without compromise to design or build.

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