Haribo Dunhills, the UK arm of German confectionery group Haribo, has unveiled a new sponsorship programme which it hopes will raise consumer awareness of its brand.
The Yorkshire-based company is to sponsor the ABT Sportsline UK motor racing team and 24-year-old driver, James Pickford, who is competing in the 2003 SEAT Cupra Championship.
Pickford is widely regarded as an emerging star of the motor racing world, being a double National Kart champion, double Formula Honda Champion and a finalist in the McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year competition.
The Haribo logo will be featured on the bonnet and on each side of Pickford's race car, as well as in a prominent position on Pickford's racing suit.
Helmut Mager, managing director of Haribo, said: "The sponsorship will boost brand awareness, particularly among our key audience of families with children who make up a significant proportion of spectators at the racing events."
To further build awareness of the Haribo brand among race day spectators, the company's famous Hariboy character will make personal appearances at each of the events, while TV coverage of the races will bring the brand name to an even wider audience, the company said.
Sponsorship of motor racing events has long been an important element of marketing food and drink brands, with the most prestigious championship, Formula 1, rife with drinks brands in particular.
The company did not say how much it had paid to sponsor Pickford, but in any case Haribo's sponsorship is not simply a matter of cost, it is also a matter of reaching the right audience.
Formula 1 is clearly the most high profile (and expensive to sponsor) racing event, but it is the family day out offered by the SEAT Cupra Championship which makes this a more targeted opportunity for the confectionery group, since its logo will be seen by a far larger number of its core audience - children.