Apr.15 (GMM) Brand and sponsorship experts have rubbished Sir Jackie Stewart's recent claim that the Max Mosley sex scandal could hurt formula one financially.
Stewart, the former triple world champion and long time opponent of the embattled FIA president, said that potential new sponsors could "hold back" as Mosley resists resigning over the affair, while existing backers rethink whether to renew contracts."The sport is vulnerable when it comes to moral issues," the Scot said recently.But two experts in the field do not agree.Pippa Collett, managing director for the British firm Sponsorship Consulting, insists that the phrase 'all publicity is good publicity' holds true even in the Mosley scandal."They (sponsors) won't pull funding in the long term," Collett, who has managed Shell's F1 sponsorship in the past, is quoted as saying by CNN."I think it has the potential to be a nine-day wonder if the FIA deal with it efficiently in June. Then it can be written off as a learning experience," she said.Stephen Cheliotis, meanwhile - chief executive of the Centre for Brand Analysis and UK Superbrands and CoolBrands Councils' chairman - insists that the most crucial element of formula one is good racing, not the governance by Mosley.He said that while the issue is "serious" for sponsors, there is "a little too much panic" going on in response.Cheliotis also said a sex scandal is unlikely to overly affect such a complicated sport."What Max Mosley does as head of the FIA is totally, utterly different from the sport. The public can differentiate," he added, using the example that the scandal is not going to affect the sale of BMW road cars.