Formula 1 is expected to announce a major new sponsorship deal with Heineken at the Canadian Grand Prix that will be a 'game-changer' for fans, sources with good knowledge of the situation have suggested.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has called a press conference for the Thursday before the Canadian Grand Prix to announce the conclusion of a deal with a new 'Formula One Global Partner.'
Although there is no confirmation on who this partner is, speculation in the paddock has pointed towards Ecclestone putting together a deal with brewery giant Heineken that could be worth as much as $250 million over seven years.
As well as trackside branding, and a tie-up with an F1 team, sources have suggested that Heineken's move to grand prix racing could lead to an overhaul of the way that the sport approaches social media and its interaction with fans.
Social media push
Heineken has been known to work hard to bring sponsorship deals to life, and is understood to want to make better use of F1's global appeal in ways that have not been done before.
It is suggested that Heineken is eager to bring on board many of the lessons it took from its involvement with football in terms of broadening the appeal of the sport, especially through new media channels.
In football, one of its most successful campaigns revolved around the 'Dilemma' advert at the Champions League. It is suggested that it is evaluating similar ideas for F1.
It is unclear exactly what Heineken plans to do, but it is expected that its activities will be revealed in the Montreal press conference that takes place before the Canadian GP weekend.