Tequila Patrón has announced the company’s departure from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, both as a team sponsor and a series sponsor, following the conclusion of the 2018 season after more than a decade of involvement.
That means that Patrón Tequila sponsorship of the IMSA racing series, and partnership with the Tequila Patrón ESM team, will cease at the end of the current season – Michelin is set to take over the title sponsorship of the NAEC previously undertaken by the premium Tequila brand.
Last year Patrón also ended involvement in NHRA racing in the wake of the purchase of the brand by the Bacardi-Martini conglomerate.
“As we continue to evolve our marketing investment strategy, and after very thoughtful consideration, we have made the decision to step back from motorsports,” said Lee Applbaum, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Patrón Spirits.
“We very much value the strong relationships we have cultivated in racing over these past many years, and believe tremendous benefit has come from our sponsorship and activation efforts. On behalf of the entire Patrón organization, I want to express my sincerest thanks to the immensely talented drivers and crew, as well as our passionate team partners and fans who have offered their unwavering support and commitment across so many seasons, series, and races around the world.”
“I’m proud that our involvement in motorsports introduced Patrón Tequila to so many new and loyal consumers across the world,” said Ed Brown, President and CEO of Patrón Spirits (seen below left with Scott Sharp). “Though we’ll no longer have a presence at racing competitions, I can promise I’ll always be a lifelong fan of the sport!”
For Extreme Speed Motorsports, a team seemingly interwoven with the brand , the announcement today fires a starting gun for partnerships for 2019 and beyond, the team making it clear today that they intend to continue their IMSA programme.
ESM Team Owner Scott Sharp: “On behalf of the entire Extreme Speed Motorsports organization, it has been an honor to represent such an amazing brand for the past 13 years!
“I have the deepest gratitude for all of Ed Brown’s support. Together we have tackled various challenges, won races at each step, and built ESM into such an incredible team. Simultaneously, it has been thrilling to watch Ed and his team build the Patrón brand in a meteoric fashion and along the way become an icon in the motorsports world! We will miss not carrying the now infamous green and black livery, but the same passion for excellence will remain!”
Patrón’s history in racing began in 2005 when the brand sponsored a driver in tNASCAR evolving into partnerships with IndyCar racing, NHRA, the American Le Mans Series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, WEC, IMSA, and several successful racing teams, most significantly, Tequila Patrón ESM, which over the past eight years has achieved 40 podiums and 10 wins, including Petit Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Daytona, and victories at the Twelve Hours of Sebring twice.
ESM Team Owner Scott Sharp: “On behalf of the entire Extreme Speed Motorsports organization, it has been an honor to represent such an amazing brand for the past 13 years! I have the deepest gratitude for all of Ed Brown’s support. Together we have tackled various challenges, won races at each step, and built ESM into such an incredible team. Simultaneously, it has been thrilling to watch Ed and his team build the Patrón brand in a meteoric fashion and along the way become an icon in the motorsports world! We will miss not carrying the now infamous green and black livery, but the same passion for excellence will remain!”
IMSA President Scott Atherton: “IMSA and Patrón Spirits have enjoyed a fantastic partnership for more than a decade. Tequila Patrón rose through the IMSA ranks, from a high-profile team sponsor with Patrón Highcroft Racing beginning in 2008, through its entitlement sponsorship of the Patrón GT3 Challenge starting in 2009, and its presenting sponsorship of the American Le Mans Series beginning in 2010.
“Tequila Patrón continued in a prominent position as the American Le Mans Series merged with GRAND-AM to create the new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and has been our entitlement partner for the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup since 2014 in addition to its longstanding support of the Tequila Patrón ESM race team and its pair of Nissan DPi race cars.
“All associated with IMSA, competitors, promoter partners, series officials and fans, will miss the iconic Tequila Patrón brand next year. On behalf of IMSA, we thank CEO Ed Brown and Tequila Patrón for all they have done over the many years to help us grow IMSA and the sport as a whole. We’re more proud than words can express to have counted Tequila Patrón among our family of premium brand partners.
“Tequila Patrón’s involvement on-and-off the track has been a benchmark example by every measure. We will look forward to finishing up our 2018 season in the strongest and most successful way possible and will look forward to the opportunity to work together again in the future.”