UPDATE 1-Motor racing-Swiss bank UBS signs global deal with F1

* UBS to become global partner of F1

* Deal reverses trend of banks leaving the sport

(Adds reaction, background, byline)

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON, Aug 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Formula One signed up Swiss bank
UBS as a global partner on Monday in a deal the sport will hope
marks a turnaround after the exit of several other financial
institutions due to the economic crisis.

No financial details were given for a deal that will be
presented formally at next month’s Singapore Grand Prix.

However Williams chairman Adam Parr, whose own team are
losing Britain’s bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as a
major sponsor at the end of the year, said the real importance
of the deal was the message it sent.

“This is a very significant announcement, regardless of the
size of the sponsorship,” he told Reuters. “The fact that
another major bank is looking to Formula One as its primary
global marketing platform is very positive.

“The signal that this will send is that other global players
need to be looking at the fundamentals that F1 offers and not
being influenced by ‘political correctness’,” he added.

“The bottom line is that Formula One sells products and
services and intelligent companies can see the opportunities it
offers.”

UBS was bailed out by the Swiss government during the
financial crisis after massive investments in risky U.S. assets
forced it to make more writedowns than any other European bank.

The bank said last week it was launching an advertising
campaign to woo back clients after posting strong results
earlier this year.

“UBS has been searching for a global sponsorship platform
that has appeal to our clients, promotes our brand globally and
makes good commercial sense,” Chief Executive Oswald Gruebel
said in a statement.

“Our new partnership with one of the largest and most
popular sporting organisations in the world will fulfil all
these criteria, and it constitutes a key element of our newly
launched branding activities.”

RBS, now majority-owned by the British government after a
multi-billion pound rescue, announced last year it would pull
out of the sport when its deal with Williams expired at the end
of 2010.

Dutch-based financial group ING, who had been Renault’s
title sponsor, quit last year while Credit Suisse decided before
the start of the 2009 season not to continue as a backer of
BMW-Sauber.

In contrast, Spain’s Santander has increased its involvement
by switching its main backing from McLaren to Ferrari while
still sponsoring McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson
Button.

The euro zone’s largest bank is also title sponsor of the
Italian, British and German Grands Prix.

Formula One has 19 races in 18 countries across four
continents this season. The Singapore Grand Prix on Sept. 26
will be the 15th round of the championship.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford/Kevin Fylan; To query or comment
on this story email [email protected])

UPDATE 1-Motor racing-Swiss bank UBS signs global deal with F1