Magazine article Marketing

BAT Nets Tyrrell and Villeneuve

Magazine article Marketing

BAT Nets Tyrrell and Villeneuve

Article excerpt

British American Tobacco is to buy the British Formula 1 team Tyrrell and will announce its five-year [pounds]300m investment in the sport just days before Europe's health ministers meet to decide the future of tobacco advertising.

The Tyrrell deal - to be signed this week - is believed to be worth [pounds]30m.

BAT will use the team to enter the F1 circuit for the 1999 season with the Lucky Strike and State Express 555 brands on its cars.

The cigarette giant has already lined up world champion Jacques Villeneuve, whose contract with the Williams team ends in 1998.

It also has an agreement with British car maker Reynard, but is still working on an engine deal.

BAT will become the seventh major tobacco company to fund the sport and will announce its plans at a press conference on December 2.

This is two days before the European Council of Health Ministers meets to discuss the directive on an EU-wide ban on tobacco promotion. British health minister Tessa Jowell will propose an exemption for F1 sponsorship - a decision which has provoked an outcry in the past week - at the same meeting. …

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