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Stewart announces HSBC

STEWART GRAND PRIX last week announced a $38m sponsorship deal with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. The deal is for five years and is designed to raise the public profile of HSBC, which is one of the major international banking and financial service companies in the world.

"Jackie Stewart and Ford are recognized throughout the world and, given the commitment of our organizations and our shared pioneering approach, I am confident of the team's prospects," said HSBC Group chairman Sir William Purves.

HSBC's connections with Ford made it a logical choice for Stewart, who is trying to "network" all his sponsors so that they all gain from their associations with the backers of the team. Stewart confirmed at the launch that he is not intending to have a title sponsor and is looking for another four or five similar deals.

We hear that Stewart also has a small amount of backing from the Malaysian Tourist Board and has been trying to sign a deal with an Asian airline. With Ford's powerful support, it is quite likely that Stewart will be funded by a variety of Ford clients and suppliers. One company tipped to be joining the package is Hertz - the rental car company which is owned by the Ford Motor Company.

At Estoril, incidentally, Paul Stewart was spotted having lengthy talk with French oil company Elf. Elf was Jackie Stewart's major sponsor in the late 1960s and a deal may be possible because of that, despite the fact that the company said it is pulling out of F1 at the end of this season.

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