Rolex has been revealed as the new title sponsor of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
At the official launch of the event this morning in the Docklands, the announcement marks the beginning of Rolex’s global partnership with Formula 1, with the watch giant choosing the Melbourne race to launch its new deal.
Rolex replaces Qantas as the major sponsor of the Albert Park race.
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said the new partnership was a good result for Melbourne and the event.
“This is an incredibly exciting announcement for Melbourne and our state,” Baillieu said.
“It highlights the attention and respect Melbourne, as the season opener, commands internationally. There are few sporting events in Australia that have the global visibility of Formula One.
“The Australian Grand Prix is widely regarded as one of the best Formula One events of the year and it is a feature of Victoria’s unrivalled major events calendar.”
Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott says that the 2013 event is looking like one of the strongest in years.
“The announcement comes as the event is shaping up to be one of the best ever,” Westacott said.
“Grandstand sales are currently tracking more than 10 percent higher than the same time last year and we have given the green light to build an additional grandstand to cope with demand.
“Importantly also, corporate sales are strong and new facilities are being constructed to cater for the expected increase in sales. Sponsorship is also tracking well ahead with both domestic and international brands committing to multi-year agreements.”
The Australian Grand Prix will be held on March 15-18.