In an exclusive interview with publication Gulf Business, Jean-Christophe Babin, president and CEO of luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer, confirmed that Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton’s position as the company’s brand ambassador is under review. Babin’s comments come on the heels of news that Hamilton has ended his 14-year relationship with automotive company McLaren Racing.
Hamilton, who won the Formula One World Champion in 2008 as part of Team McLaren, announced recently that he has signed a 3-year deal with rival racing team Mercedes-Benz. Babin told Gulf Business; “I’ve had no time yet to discuss with him as this was announced last week. I met with him 10 days ago in Singapore but it was not announced yet, so I knew it was 50/50. Now it is clear, he goes to Mercedes. I don’t know yet [if Hamilton will still be a TAG Heuer ambassador in 2013]. I don’t exclude it but I still have to think about it. Also with Jenson Button [a Team McLaren F1 driver] we have a great ambassador.”
The news has shocked the racing world, as Hamilton has been with McLaren since they signed him at just 13 years old. It remains to be seen whether TAG Heuer can re-calibrate their relationship with Hamilton now that Mercedes will play a part in negotiations. Haute Time previously investigated the controversy a change in brand sponsorship can play when we reported on the tussle between Omega and Rolex in the golf world.
On a different note, Babin also announced news of growth during his sit down with Gulf Business; TAG Heuer will open a new flagship store in Tehran later this month.