Features - Firm Guidance
MAY 29, 2000
BY JOE SAWARD
Warsteiner is Germany's biggest beer brand and is known as "The Queen of Beers". The German beer market is unlike the other major markets in that there are a lot of small companies and no real giants such as the Anheuser-Busch or Miller Brewing in the United States. In order to stand out from its rivals and build a bigger market Warsteiner has been active in motor racing sponsorship since the early 1970s. It started out in the junior formulae, Peter Scharmann, for example, won the German Formula 3 title in 1977 in a Warsteiner-sponsored car. The company then backed the efforts of Rolf Stommelen in F1 and in 1977 began an association with the then new Arrows team. The gold Warsteiner Arrows were a feature of the 1978, 1979 and 1980 seasons with drivers Riccardo Patrese and Jochen Mass.
In the 1980s Warsteiner continued to build the brand in Europe through an association with the Schnitzer BMW touring car team which won all the major European titles with driver Roberto Ravaglia. In the mid-1990s Warsteiner decided to embark on a global expansion program and decided that Grand Prix racing was the perfect way to do it. The company concluded a sponsorship deal with the West McLaren Mercedes team and is also the title sponsor of the San Marino Grand Prix. In addition to its motor racing activities, Warsteiner is also the sponsor of the highly-successful Bayren Munich soccer team and is also backing competitors in the AmericaÊChallengeÊGasÊBalloon Race and in ice skiing.
Warsteiner's growth continues under the guidance of the latest member of the Cramer Family, Albert who maintains a long-held Warsteiner tradition: every night each employee is allowed to take home five bottles of the beer.