Revenue from F1 puts Hilton out in front

Christian Sylt
Sunday 24 August 2008 00:00 BST

Hotel giant Hilton has reason to celebrate at today's Formula One Grand Prix in Valencia. The McLaren team it sponsors is leading the drivers' championship with Lewis Hamilton, and on the back of the partnership, Hilton expects to double its hotel revenue to $5m (£2.7m) this year.

Hilton is the only hotel company sponsoring F1. Its director of sports sponsorship, Robin Fenwick, says that when the deal began in 2005 it was making only a one-to-one return on investment but this has now increased eight-fold. He refused to disclose the value of the deal, but F1's industry monitor Formula Money estimates it costs $3m a year.

The deal is unique as Hilton can monitor its return through reservations made by members of its racing club. "Membership sits at 20,000 ABC1 members – four times greater than at the start of 2007," says Mr Fenwick.

Hilton also announced a deal last week, based on the same model, with rugby union's Guinness Premiership.

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