Santander extends partnership with McLaren

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The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team is delighted to announce an extension to its Corporate Partnership with Santander, with the high-profile Santander branding present on all four Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers.

Since the start of our winning relationship in 2007, Santander has seen its brand awareness rise in the UK from 20% to 82%, supported by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and its drivers, including reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton. This increase has coincided with the Santander Group's move to bring together Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley to operate under the single Santander brand.

Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, said: "We are extremely pleased to have extended our hugely successful global Partnership with Santander. As one of the world's leading banks with a significant presence in Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and the United States and other countries, Santander is a great 'fit' with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and our triumphs on the global stage of Formula 1.

"The year 2009 marks Santander's third season of association with our sport, and during this time they have successfully title-sponsored three of the most prestigious and historic races: the British, German and Italian Grands Prix. We are very proud of our relationship with Santander and to be part of their ever-expanding Formula 1 involvement. We welcome, and wish them well with, their other activities - including, but not limited to, the afore-mentioned race sponsorships."

António Horta-Osório, Abbey's Chief Executive, added: "Since its inauguration in 2007, our corporate partnership with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has been extremely successful, especially in the UK, which is why we are delighted that we will continue to develop our alliance with the UK's number-one Formula 1 team for the benefit of our 20 million UK clients."

"The year 2010 will create a newly-refreshed scenario for Santander in terms of Formula 1 sponsorship. Our continuing partnership with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes - and especially with Lewis Hamilton - will fit very well with our ongoing development of the Santander brand, not only in the UK but globally too," said Juan Manuel Cendoya, Senior Vice President of Communications, Corporate Marketing and Research.

Lewis Hamilton added: "Some of the most enjoyable activities I have ever done off track during my Formula 1 career have been with Santander. Everything we do together is always thinking outside of the box, and I am looking forward to continuing that work together with them and the team. Over the past couple of years we have filmed some great TV ads - one of them turned me into an Airfix kit and then in the other I got to play on a life-sized Scalextric set! The Santander people are very cool and push home the value and strength of teamwork. With Santander I have also had the opportunity to attend some events in Spain. I love racing in Spain, too - Spanish motorsport fans are always so enthusiastic."

Heikki Kovalainen commented: "As with all our Partners, the work we do with Santander is put to very effective use across the world. For example, I was recently involved in a campaign in the German market. Santander are a real part of the McLaren Mercedes family, and we are obviously all very pleased that our relationship will continue. It demonstrates that Santander have achieved a superb return on their investment in our team."