PKN ORLEN is set to remain the title sponsor of the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team in 2021. The Company will continue to be present in the world’s most famous paddock, with Robert Kubica to support the team as a test driver. In addition to the contract extension, the ORLEN Karting Academy programme for youth, run by Sauber Motorsport, will also be continued.
‘Our investment in the partnership with Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN is bringing tangible benefits, with over PLN 400m in advertising value equivalent received in 2020 alone, three times the figure reported for the previous season. This best demonstrates the sport has strong growth potential from the sponsor’s perspective. We are aptly exploiting this potential in Poland, where our partnership with ARRO and Robert Kubica is helping us to drive retail sales, including non-fuel sales. In the third quarter alone, our retail business delivered a record operating profit of PLN 1bn. Being the title sponsor of the Alfa Romeo Racing team helps to build the awareness and prestige of the ORLEN brand around the world, which in turn facilitates implementation of our business ambitions and competition with global players,’ says Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board.
As part of our relationship with ARRO last season the ORLEN branding was clearly displayed on the car livery and suits, and Robert Kubica took over as the test driver. The Kraków-born driver took part in six test sessions, sharing his long-standing experience with other team members.
‘My job is my passion, and I feel lucky that my partnership with PKN ORLEN is helping me to pursue this passion. My role on Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN is to be in the paddock, of course. The opportunity to drive a Formula One car is something truly special, and the adrenaline rush I get every time I’m behind the wheel can’t be compared with any other series,’ said Robert Kubica, an ORLEN Team member.
The ORLEN brand appeared in more than 100,000 articles, which were viewed over 359 billion times, according to Meltwater data. The advertising value equivalent of ORLEN’s social media presence created by the ARRO team was EUR 7.5m, or over PLN 33m. The reach of ORLEN brand positioning materials posted on the social media channels of Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN exceeded 200 million viewers, and of those posted on PKN ORLEN’s own channels – 35 million viewers. F1 races are broadcast by 51 national television stations and watched by 400 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. Per 2020 Nielsen TV Exposure Analysis, the advertising value equivalent for the ORLEN brand in the first ten months of 2020 was in excess of PLN 400m, representing an over three-fold increase year on year.
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN in its C39 car competed in 17 race weekends in 2020. Overall, the team under Frédéric Vasseur raced in 12 countries on two continents and sat eighth in the constructors’ championship at the end of the season. Pandemic restrictions prompted changes to the calendar of events, but they also opened up new collaboration opportunities. A host of new activities shared on social media, but also virtual meetings with drivers, garage tours and meetings with constructors were held throughout the season. PKN ORLEN used them in its promotional activities intended for key stakeholders.
The partnership with Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN was also used during the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Miracle on the Vistula, held in place of the event well known to all motorsport fans VERVA Street Racing. This landmark event in Poland’s history was celebrated in an outstanding way, with Kubica in his team’s car racing on the streets of Warsaw against Bartłomiej Marszałek, another ORLEN Team member, who represents the Company in the F1 motorboat racing championships. Owing to a unique concept and multistage media and digital efforts, the Miracle on the Vistula project reached an unprecedented number of viewers in PKN ORLEN’s sponsorship history. The audience of the Company’s own channels exceeded 23 million. Engagement rates on the ORLEN Team account rose seven-fold on the comparative pre-pandemic period (January–February 2020), and on the corporate accounts – by more than two-fold. Activities in the press, on the internet and in audiovisual media resulted in 198 publications reaching 26.7 million users, and the original material on TV attracted an audience of 5.8 million. Furthermore, the content targeting the global community on Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN channels reached 1.2 million users.
The ARRO team and its drivers Kimi Räikkönen, Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Kubica featured in PKN ORLEN’s two promotional campaigns. Also, a demonstration car of the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team was shown in nine cities around Poland during a four-month tour that attracted about half a million fans. The car of the Swiss-based team was displayed in Karpacz, at PKN ORLEN’s head office in Płock, at the Warsaw Olympic Centre and in other places.
Next season, the ORLEN branding will continue to appear on the team’s cars, including the rear and front wings, halo, mirrors and side sections. It will also feature on the chest and back of the race suits, in three spots on the drivers’ helmets, and on the crew clothing, transporters, garage, and motorhome.
Motorsport is an important part of the Company’s efforts to extend the ORLEN brand’s global reach. Its products are marketed in more than 120 countries around the world, with 60% of its revenue generated on international markets. The partnership with the sole Polish driver in the prestigious racing series is bringing tangible benefits. Over 70% of respondents, unaided, associate Robert Kubica with PKN ORLEN, which drives the effectiveness of the Company’s advertising and public awareness campaigns. Also, every fifth motorist in Poland says he visits PKN ORLEN service stations more often because of the Company’s partnership with Kubica.