From new races in Miami and Las Vegas to the success of Drive to Survive to the new multi-million-dollar broadcast deal with ESPN, Formula 1 is exploding in the US. Now, it’s joining up with one of America’s favorite whiskeys.
Jack Daniel’s has announced a partnership with McLaren’s F1 team that will begin next year with the Old No. 7’s name plastered right on the front of the car—as well as on the drivers’ racing suits and pit the crew’s helmets.
While from the outside, Jack Daniel’s may appear like more of cultural fit with America’s leading racing series NASCAR, are going in different directions popularity-wise. While NASCAR still nets larger ratings for each race in the States, in the last decade it has seen a 47 percent decline in viewership for its marquee race, the Daytona 500. Contrast that to F1, which has seen a 53 percent increase in viewers in 2022 compared to 2021. And while Jack Daniel’s is already the world’s bestselling whiskey, the brand sees F1 as a way to increase its global marketing reach and attracting a younger audience to its product.
“As a brand, we’re looking to remain relevant with the next generation of consumers and always looking for relevant platforms to partner with and therefore McLaren and F1 present an absolutely brilliant and unrivaled global platform to really amplify the presence of Jack Daniel’s,” SVP global managing director for Jack Daniel’s, Sophia Angelis, told the Sports Business Journal. “Of course, F1 comes with a fanbase that is on a worldwide basis so that in and of itself is really appealing and thanks to Netflix’s Drive to Surviveit’s brought in a younger and more diverse audience and has created incredible momentum.”
Of course, the next season of Drive to Survive probably won’t have any plot lines driven by this brand deal like Haas’s failed energy drink sponsorship 2019 that caused much consternation for the struggling team on the show. Most of the drama surrounding McLaren will likely involve the palace intrigue of forcing out beloved driver Daniel Ricciardo—not Jack Daniel’s being stamped on the livery. But we shall see when the new season debuts next year.