Yamaha thrilled with Movistar title sponsor deal

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Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis has spoken of his delight now the Japanese factory has been able to secure a long-term five-year title sponsorship deal with Spanish communications giant Movistar.

Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi showed off the new Movistar livery for the first time in Qatar yesterday, with Yamaha running with a title sponsor for the first time since Fiat left at the end of 2010.

Jarvis told MCN: “It is great to be with Movistar because they have such a famous name in our sport. They have been involved for such a long time in the past, and especially with the Spanish young rider generation. They have developed a lot of superstars, so when they left the scene a few years ago it was a sad day for the sport. Now they are back it is a really happy day. I’m especially happy to have them back with Yamaha and a title sponsor again is extremely welcome for us. And to have a title sponsor for five years allows us to work in the future on a long-term partnership.”

While HRC has relied on long-term backer Repsol and Ducati continued to be supported by Phillip Morris, Yamaha has found it incredibly difficult to find a replacement for Fiat.

The new Movistar deal coincides with the Spanish firm’s new five-year TV deal with Dorna, but Jarvis explained why it had been so difficult to find a new naming rights backer.

He added: “It has been difficult because of the economic situation. We signed our last title sponsorship deal with Fiat in 2008 for 2009 and 2010. And in November 2008 came the economic crisis and that was the beginning of a dramatic decline in the western European economy. We have suffered from that because by the time we got to a renewal in 2010, the European economy was in dire straits. I think MotoGP has been very much supported by Latin countries with Italy and Spain traditionally the most important markets. That situation changed a lot and what we have been able to do over the last few years is to form relationships and pick up interesting and strong sponsorships with other companies like Monster Energy and Eneos.”

“We have seen a situation where a dominant single player of the past has been very difficult to attract because the money for that is very significant. We have now created a basket of assets but we have always been missing a title sponsor. With Movistar it is perfect because we have a five-year commitment with a major player that has big plans to invest in the sport. In the past we were basically proposing to Movistar to re-join the sport in order to promote their brand and products. Then they were a telecom company, so we were proposing to them a branding exercise to promote existing business. This is now a business package where they are starting a new TV channel and they have chosen to use MotoGP and align with a major team.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt