Tommy Hilfiger partners with Formula One world champions Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport
Fashion cars and fashion have always been good friends. Just ask Tommy Hilfiger, who on Tuesday announced a multi-year partnership with Mercedes Benz to be the Formula One world champion team’s official apparel partner. Starting with the 2018 season, Hilfiger will supply travel and team kits, along with office and hospitality apparel for more than 1,500 individuals within Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, to give the team its full name.
The deal will also return the Hilfiger logo to a high-performance race car and to the team’s pit stop: to be unveiled February 22, at the Silverstone track in England. Ten teams will contest the 21-race, 2018 season, kicking off on March 25 in Melbourne, Australia.
“From the first time I attended a Formula One race, I was completely fascinated by the world of motorsports,” said Tommy in a release.
“To be re-entering this arena with World Champions Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and their number one team is an incredible way to fuse fashion and Formula One,” added the 66-year-old Hilfiger, who founded his fashion house in 1985.
Almost two decades ago, Hilfiger became the first non-automotive sponsor of Ferrari, when his logo was prominent on the wing mirrors of the Italian racecar just as Michael Schumacher began a reign as five-time world champion.
In 2017, Mercedes won the constructor championship of Formula One, while its lead pilot Lewis Hamilton was the world champion, beating Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel into second place. Moreover, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport has won both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ World Championships for the past four seasons. The attraction to Hilfiger – a brand keen to grow its business outside of the USA – is obvious, since each Formula One race attracts a global audience of some 300 million.
According to industry insiders, Hilfiger had been tempted to partner directly with Hamilton, but was blocked by an existing understanding between the UK driver and Hugo Boss. Linking with bold face names in sport and music is key to the Hilfiger DNA. The New York designer has pioneered dressing young artists such as Aaliyah, Mark Ronson and Usher; featured musicians such as David Bowie and Beyoncé in his advertising campaigns; and partnered with international tennis champion Rafael Nadal for his underwear collection.
“The exciting partnership with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport is a celebration of our shared commitment to keep technology and innovation at the core of our business,” said Daniel Grieder, CEO Tommy Hilfiger Global.
Hilfiger plans a spring release of an integrated worldwide ad campaign with video teasers, print, online, and out of home media placements photographed by Mikael Jansson - all integrated into the Tommy Hilfiger men’s collection to celebrate the fusion of fashion and Formula One. The fashion house’s men’s campaign will run alongside the brand’s dedicated women’s advertising, which also fuses elements of speed-racing with fashion, and features Gigi Hadid, international supermodel and global brand ambassador.
Commenting on the new partnership, Toto Wolff, Mercedes Benz Team Principal and CEO predicted that: “it will energize our brand and bring a new spin to how we are perceived from next season. We are excited to see how Tommy Hilfiger will dress the team this season and to showcase their exciting plans to the fans of Formula One.”
Hilfiger is part of the giant American fashion conglomerate PVH, which employs some 35,000 people, and also controls Calvin Klein, Van Heusen, Arrow, Izod and Speedo, boasting annual group revenue of $8 billion dollars.
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