x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Kaspersky in deal to sponsor Scuderia Ferrari F1 team

The deal will mean the Kaspersky Lab logo appears on the nose cone of the team's racing cars.

Kaspersky Lab, the antivirus and internet security company, has unveiled a two-year deal to sponsor the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One racing team, with its logo adorning the cars next year.

The deal will mean the Kaspersky Lab logo appears on the nose cone of the team's racing cars.

"It's very good for branding. It's very expensive but it works," said Eugene Kaspersky, the company's co-founder and chief executive.

Mr Kaspersky would not say how much the deal was worth but Kaspersky Lab is no stranger to motorsports, as it sponsors Ferrari's AF Corse team in the Le Mans 24 Hour race.

The company also sponsored an expedition to the South Pole to display its ethos of teamwork.

The deal is aimed at expanding the brand's presence in the Europe and MENA region, which is the company's second-largest market after North America.

But Bashar Abdulkarim, the managing director of the sports marketing and sponsorship consultancy Relay MENA, said Kaspersky's return on investment would hinge on whether it was able to build a successful strategy to engage consumers.

But Mr Abdulkarim said there was no doubt the company would achieve greatly increased exposure from the deal.

"Formula One is still the most followed sport on TV," he said.

Mr Kaspersky said he expected to see new sales opportunities among companies looking to protect themselves from cyber attacks such as the Stuxnet worm, which infected infrastructure in Iran this year.

"Systems are often designed in a very weak way and very bad things can happen," he said. "They use the systems for years and if it works, they don't touch it. But now there's a very big risk that their systems will be vulnerable to attacks."