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American Express lands partner role for F1 and Las Vegas GP

American Express has become a regional partner of Formula 1 in the Americas, as well as the official payments partner of next month’s inaugural Las Vegas GP.

Las Vegas track action

Las Vegas track action

Liberty Media

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In addition to the special focus on Las Vegas, the multi-year deal covers the Austin, Miami, Montreal, Mexico City and Interlagos events. Amex will also be a supporter of the female-only F1 Academy series.

The deal is the first new sports sponsorship programme in a decade for the financial services company, which has enjoyed long involvements in basketball, golf, tennis and football.

Amex card members will have special benefits such as pre-sale access to tickets and additional on-site benefits at races.

The company's chief marketing officer Elizabeth Rutledge made it clear that F1’s increasing audience was what appealed.

“The F1 fan base and viewership has grown exponentially over the past several years,” she said. “So we are thrilled to bring the exclusive access and unique experiences that American Express is known for to our card members and racing fans.

“The addition of F1 to our global portfolio of partnerships helps us continue to create meaningful value for our customers, in the areas they’re most passionate about.”

F1’s director of commercial partnerships Jonny Haworth suggested that it was a two-way street, with the sport also expected to benefit from the exposure that Amex can provide.

Las Vegas track action

Las Vegas track action

Photo by: Liberty Media

 “As we continue to grow our presence in the US we believe American Express will introduce a new wave of fans to the sport through offering premium once-in-a-lifetime moments to their card members, and support F1 in our efforts to further enhance and elevate the fan experience in this crucial market.

“It’s also fantastic to see a global brand like American Express supporting F1 Academy and the work the series is doing to drive lasting change in our sport.”

Emily Prazer, chief commercial officer for the Las Vegas event, added: “It’s crucial that we partner with brands that enhance the overall guest experience and exceed their expectations.

“American Express continues to bring new and exciting opportunities for sports fans around the world, and we look forward to working together to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences for their card members.”

Credit card companies have rarely been involved with F1, with Mastercard’s brief relationship with the short-lived Lola team in 1997 perhaps the best-remembered example. The company later teamed up with Jordan.

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