NEW DEAL SIGNED: Heineken signed a multi-year contract to be the major sponsor for the Italian GP from 2017 onward. Image: AP / Srdjan Suki
Montreal - Dutch beer giant Heineken confirmed it is to enter Formula 1 with a multi-year sponsorship deal for trackside advertising and title sponsorship of the 2016 Italian Grand Prix.
The deal between Heineken and F1 Management was announced at an event in the paddock ahead of the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix.
F1 commercial ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone said: "Heineken is a premium international brand with a super reputation for first class marketing. I am very pleased to welcome them to the F1 family - and look forward to the scale and quality of their activation at, and away from, F1 events.
"We are both in the innovation and enjoyment business and I hope that this is the start of a long and special relationship."
'If you drive, never drink'
Heineken plans to use its F1 sponsorship to promote its campaign for responsible drinking which says 'If you Drive, never Drink.'
The deal is understood to have options that may extend until the end of 2023 and may be worth up to $250 million in that time.
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Paddock sources said that the deal gives Heineken title sponsorship of three races each season from 2017 and track branding at six other events.