A few motor-racing fans have asked why Julius Baer was so keen to back Formula E. After all, motor-racing was banned in the wealth manager’s home of Switzerland decades ago. It isn’t a technology company. So why was Julius Baer so enthusiastic about sponsoring a completely new version of racing?
Julius Baer co-head of marketing Marco Parroni explains the logic from his perspective. “We are committed to growing through sustainable wealth management practices and we also support visionary ideas,” he says.
“The sponsorship of Formula E, with its global reach, is the perfect platform for us to share the values we stand for, such as innovation, sustainability and a forward-looking pioneering spirit. We aim to contribute to the advancement of new technologies, in this particular case the development of sustainable means of transport.”
The company’s ethos seems to be a perfect match with Formula E. Founded in 1890 to focus on the demands of private clients, family offices and external asset managers, the wealth manager has long emphasised the need to explore sustainable and socially responsible investments. The tie-in gives it a unique insight into the multitude of sustainable technologies used in Formula E.
The sponsorship of Formula E, with its global reach, is the perfect platform for us to share the values we stand for, such as innovation, sustainability and a forward-looking pioneering spirit
In fact, the deal was a continuation of a wider strategy of supporting emerging talent and technologies. Mr Parroni says: “In addition to Formula E, we support the younger generation with our sponsorship of the AMZ racing team of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. These young engineering graduates from one of the leading universities are developing their own electric racing car.
“We aim to promote the development of the respective technology and, at the Formula E races, we want to give these young engineers of the future a prominent platform with Formula Student, a competition for young engineers.”
Naturally, there is a measurable return on the investment. Mr Parroni speaks highly of the branding the company gets on the cars and by the race track. And the global reach is a vital factor for marketing the bank in a broad range of territories.
He says: “Formula E races have been and will be held and broadcast in many of Julius Baer’s key markets, such as Europe, Asia and Latin America. This gives us a unique opportunity to increase its general brand awareness, and invite clients and prospects to high-class events to experience future technologies first-hand. Thanks to Julius Baer’s status as the global partner of Formula E, we will have exclusive hospitality access to the race tracks.”
Sponsors, of course, also want to know they are going to enjoy the whole experience. Fortunately, Julius Baer is emphatic that Formula E is evoking the right emotions.
“There were many highlights throughout the whole season,” Mr Parroni recalls. “I would like to mention the first race in Beijing, which was a very emotional moment and the start of a partnership that has been very successful so far. And, of course, the first race in Europe on the historic track of Monaco. It is great to see the whole potential of the platform, the growing interest in the technology itself and how this could provide a solution for climate change.”
“Also our guests responded positively. Those who could experience the events live were thrilled by the competition as well as by the concept of a new environmentally friendly racing series,” he says.
There’s one other great dividend. Mr Parroni says: “I also fondly remember the Swiss Council of States’ decision to pave the way for a Formula E ePrix in Julius Baer’s home market of Switzerland.” The ban is gone thanks to the environmental ambition of Formula E, enabling a race to take place in coming seasons
Overall, the partnership has been a resounding success for both Julius Baer and Formula E. Mr Parroni, for one, is looking to the longer term: “I am very much looking forward to the last two races in London, with the final on Sunday – and then on to seasons to come,” he says.
For more information visit www.juliusbaer.com