LG joins Formula One as a global partner

The Formula One group is moving forward with its plans to increase revenues in the years ahead with the announcement in London of a global partnership with Korea's LG Electronics. LG will become the official Consumer Electronics, Mobile Phone and Data Processor of Formula 1, beginning in January 2009. As the Official Data Processor of F1 LG will be identified and credited on the official live timing service at events and in the associated timing and data TV graphics. The company will also enjoy a comprehensive package of premium marketing rights worldwide in association with the F1 brand.

LG is one of Korea's famous industrial "chaebols", vast corporations which are involved in a selection of different businesses. LG is involved principally in chemicals, electronics, financial services and trading but it began as company making tooth powder during World War II. The firm was started by Koo In-Hwoi and in 1947 he expanded the business to include detergents, shampoo, face creams and toothpaste. He called the business the Lucky Chemical Company. In the late 1950s he started another company called Goldstar to manufacture electrical appliances. After Koo's death in 1969 his son Koo Cha-Kyung took over the business and there was further diversification although Goldstar tended to build electronic machinery which was then badged by other companies. The two companies were merged in the 1980s and Lucky Goldstar boomed in the 1990s and began to sell its own brand machinery, using the LG brand. In recent years that programme has accelerated and LG has been looking at different ways to publicize the brand. The company is now a leading player in the world of consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile communications, employing more than 82,000 people in 114 operations. It had sales in 2007 of $44bn. It is the world’s leading producer of mobile handsets, flat panel TVs, air conditioners, front-loading washing machines, optical storage products, DVD players and home theatre systems.

LG has been looking at F1 for probably four years and has examined a number of different possibilities, inclujding a team sponsorship and trackside signage. In the end it seems that the new global partnerships which Formula One is creating is a better option for the company.

"Formula One represents the absolute peak of technological innovation and style, which is also our vision for the LG Electronics brand," says Dermot Boden, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of LG Electronics. "We feel the excitement and electricity of F1 is unmatched by any sport, and we feel the same passion and energy here at LG. In today’s economic climate, all organizations need to be strategic with their expenditures. Here at LG we can think of no more important investment than our brand. After having carefully researched marketing and sponsorship opportunities, I am confident that this exciting partnership will best highlight and enhance the profiles of both global organizations over the long term."

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