SPONSORS: BROOKE BOND OXO

Name: Brooke Bond Oxo

The Brooke Bond tea company was established in 1869 by Arthur Brooke, the son of a wealthy tea dealer. He opened his first shop in Manchester and, rather than selling tea from chests, Brooke produced his own blends by mixing different teas. He decided that the addition of the name Bond sounded better than Brooke by itself. The business expanded quickly with new shops opening in Liverpool, Bradford and Leeds and in 1872 he moved the headquarters of the business to London. After several years of struggling the business began to thrive again in the 1880s when Brooke began supplying his teas to grocers shops. Success enabled the company to expand around the world and to invest in its own tea plantations.

Brooke retired in 1904 and handed over the company to his son Gerald. The different Brooke Bond blends and an innovative approach to advertising (notably through the tea cards) guaranteed further success but the increased competition from other drinks convinced the company to join forces with the Liebig company in 1968. Liebig's success had been based on Oxo, a cube of beef concentrate which had been invented in 1847 by Baron Justus von Liebig.

In an effort to publicise the new alliance Brooke Bond Oxo decided to become a motor racing sponsor and joined forces with Rob Walker in 1970 to become the first big non-trade sponsor in F1. The deal was for three years and Walker hired British household name Graham Hill to drive for him. At the end of the first season Hill decided to join Brabham and Walker decided that rather than struggle on a privateer he should join forces with John Surtees. Thus Brooke Bond Oxo became the sponsors of the Surtees F1 team with drivers Mike Hailwood and Tim Schenken. The following year Schenken was replaced by Brazilian Carlos Pace.

The company withdrew from F1 at the end of 1973. In 1988 the company merged with the Batchelors company to form Brooke Bond Foods and in 1995 was merged into Van den Bergh Foods, a subsidiary of the giant Unilever food company.

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