Johnnie Walker and Team McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen celebrate milestones at the Hungarian Grand Prix
100TH GP Start for Raikkonen and One Year
Anniversary of Partnership with Team McLaren Mercedes
Budapest – Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one selling Scotch Whisky, will be celebrating their one year anniversary as a partner of Team McLaren Mercedes at the Hungarian Grand Prix, the site where they launched their sponsorship in 2005. The race also marks the 100th Formula One Grand Prix start for Team McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen. To salute Kimi and his achievement, Johnnie Walker has created a special helmet design featuring the iconic Johnnie Walker Striding Man that Kimi will use during the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix. In addition, Raikkonen will be wearing a pair of bespoke Johnnie Walker Gold Label racing boots during the Grand Prix.
Raikkonen has emerged as one of the true stars of Formula One, amassing nine victories, eight pole positions and a staggering 35 podium finishes. In 2005 Raikkonen scored seven victories, including Johnnie Walker’s first race with the team, the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“Johnnie Walker Gold Label is synonymous with celebrations, especially those marking a centenary,” notes Ben Anderson, global brand director of Johnnie Walker. “This race is doubly special for us as we not only salute Kimi, but also celebrate our first anniversary with Team McLaren Mercedes.”
Johnnie Walker’s arrival on the Team Mercedes McLaren livery last season coincided with a rich vein of form for the team. From the Hungarian Grand Prix until the end of the season, a total of seven races, Team McLaren Mercedes scored six victories and nine podium finishes.
“Johnnie Walker’s first year in Formula One has been both exciting and successful, on and off the track,” said Ben Anderson, global brand director of Johnnie Walker. “We’re proud to be a partner of Team McLaren Mercedes, and equally proud of our responsible drinking initiatives that have run around the world.”
About Johnnie Walker
JOHNNIE WALKER® is the world’s number-one whisky brand, representing the concept of personal progress for the many people who enjoy it in almost 200 countries worldwide, just as it did to John Walker when he founded the business in 1820. A combination of consumer insight, determination and commercial astuteness enabled three pioneering generations of Walkers to grow a small grocery store into an international whisky business selling stylish, globally recognised brands.
Today this progressive and innovative approach continues. In 2005 JOHNNIE WALKER® announced a partnering agreement with one of the world’s most successful Formula One racing teams, Team McLaren Mercedes. The sport provides a unique international platform for engaging with today’s consumer.
Throughout almost 200 years of trading, John Walker’s original values of quality and consistency have been rigorously applied to the blending process. Like John’s grandson, Alexander, a master of the art of blending, today’s specialists combine a first-class training, a natural talent and a Master Blender’s perceptive nose; all crucial when creating complex blends.
In 1908 “Born 1820 – Still Going Strong” appeared on JOHNNIE WALKER® advertising material. Nearly a hundred years later JOHNNIE WALKER® continues to produce successful leading-edge brands. The range of stylish, award-winning whiskies now includes RED LABEL, BLACK LABEL, GREEN LABEL, GOLD LABEL, BLUE LABEL, PREMIER and SWING. Together they account for 12.4 million cases annually, making JOHNNIE WALKER® the most popular whisky in the world.
JOHNNIE WALKER, the Striding Figure device and associated logos are trade marks.
Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business. With its global vision, and local marketing focus, Diageo brings to consumers an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across the spirits, wine and beer categories including Smirnoff, Guinness, JOHNNIE WALKER, Baileys, J&B, Cuervo, Captain Morgan and Tanqueray, and Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines. Diageo trades in some 180 countries around the world and is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com