JULY 31, 2001
Toyota's marketing possibilities
TOYOTA does not really need to raise money for its Formula 1 program. The Japanese car company has always been keen on telling critics that the company makes more money in interest on its money than it does from selling cars and so it could if necessary fund the entire F1 program without too much drama.
Deals have been struck to offset costs with Exxon and Matsushita and there is great potential this week as the result of a deal which has been struck between Toyota and Universal Studios (which is owned by France's Vivendi). The new "global marketing alliance" will result in Toyota being integrated into promotion of Universal's movies, music and theme parks.
Toyota is expected to fund rides at the theme parks and use its global dealer network to promote Universal activities. In exchange Toyota products will be placed in high profile movies. The deal is for three years with an option to extend to five. Toyota will pay for the privileges involved but it is possible that Universal (a Williams sponsor in recent years) might include an F1 deal in the package.
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