Finding sponsors for U.S. racing might be next to impossible, but this isn’t the case elsewhere, as Movistar, a telecommunications arm of Spanish company Telefonica, has signed on to be the title sponsor for the Factory Yamaha MotoGP team for the next five years. Short of the 20-year relationship between Honda and Repsol, this comes as one of the more significant sponsorship deals in recent memory.
The Movistar name might sound familiar to some, as it was also a long-time supporter of Honda in MotoGP and development programs for up-and-coming racers (Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner among many). This marks a return to top level race sponsorship for the brand after a brief hiatus, and the partnership with Yamaha — Honda’s chief rival — comes at a good time for the tuning fork company, as the team has lacked a title sponsor for a few years.
Starting from the first race of the 2014 season, the team will be known as the “Movistar Yamaha MotoGP” Team and riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will embark on their title challenge under the floodlights of Qatar on March 23rd under this name.
The Movistar brand will feature prominently on all team assets (YZR-M1, riders’ leathers, team uniform, pit-garage, trucks, hospitality) for the next five years.
The new official team logo is made public today but the full 2014 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team livery will only be unveiled on Wednesday March 19th in Losail, Qatar, just before the opening race.
Lin Jarvis – Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing
“This is a big day for the sport. We are delighted to be able to welcome the Movistar brand back into the world of MotoGP in such spectacular fashion. Dedicated fans of motorcycle racing will know that Movistar has a strong history in the sport, and in the past they supported many talented young riders who later evolved to be the top stars in the MotoGP class. We are therefore honored that they chose Yamaha as their partner to re-enter motorcycle racing.
The 5-year partnership provides an incredibly stable platform for both parties to fully exploit the relationship and make plans not just in the short-term but also strategically over a longer period. Their long-term commitment is also a strong sign of confidence in the sport and provides reassurance to the other sponsors and partners involved with our team. We also believe the activation and promotion that Movistar will bring will also help to raise awareness and interest in our championship from brands not yet involved in MotoGP. The Movistar announcement is the last and most significant of our planned sponsor agreements for this season. We are delighted to have such a full portfolio of premium brands now onboard with us as we make final preparations for our 2014 title challenge campaign.
We’re keen now to get to the start grid under the floodlights and kick off our title challenge together!”
Dante Cacciatore – Director of Communication and Customer Experience, Telefónica Spain
Movistar is coming back to MotoGP; this moment is going to be one of the most important landmarks for our company history in 2014. Even though the adrenaline and engine sounds and even the smell of the gasoline and the support of the fans are yet to flow through our veins it’s impossible for us to be much more excited. This return couldn`t have been a better kick off.
We have decided to join Yamaha Factory Racing as a travel partner to embark on the same journey together. The team has achieved nine world championship titles and holds two magnificent world champions in Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.
To speak of Yamaha is to speak of motorcycling, and not only that. It is to speak of the essence of teamwork at its best and the passion of proudly waving a flag of true racing heritage in front of a passionate crowd who support on each turn and on each straight. These values are identical to those we share at Movistar. It is a huge honor to belong to this new family that we receive with open arms. We are hungry and really looking forward to seeing the start lights go out in Qatar. Now is the time to live this dream; welcome to Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
“I am so happy with this announcement and the arrival of such a big, key sponsor as Movistar. This is an enormous partner that is not just Spanish like me but also that shares a big history in the past of the motorsport, especially in motorcycling. Now they’re back in MotoGP and more importantly, they have made a perfect marriage with Yamaha!
It’s great to see such an important company as Movistar make a return to motorcycle racing with such a large scale sponsoring activity. I know we can have a great journey battling for the championship alongside them and looking into the future we will do a great job together to achieve loads of success. Welcome Movistar again to this amazing sport that we love, and of course welcome to the Yamaha family!”
It’s really a great pleasure to know that Movistar will be joining Yamaha Factory Racing in MotoGP. I am also very happy that Yamaha have a new title sponsor! It will be a very important season for me and for Yamaha. We have always been very motivated but this news has brought new enthusiasm and this is a very positive thing. At this time the team is very busy in the pre-season tests, we are working very hard because we want to make a fantastic season. This goal I believe is important for our new sponsor. We will definitely try our best to be protagonists at every race. I give my best wishes to Movistar for this new adventure!