Saudi Arabia’s PIF becomes principal sponsor of Formula E, E1 and Extreme E

Multi-year 'Electric 360' partnership to include thought leadership events, STEM initiatives and apprenticeship programmes.
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  • Deal marks first time one company will sponsor Formula E, Extreme E and E1 at same time
  • PIF already owns ‘significant stakes’ in all three series, each of which have events in Saudi Arabia in 2024
  • Sovereign wealth fund to undergo brand revamp

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has partnered with Formula E, Extreme E, and powerboat championship E1 Series in a deal it claims will drive the growth of electric motorsport and electric mobility.

The multi-year partnership, which will be known as ‘Electric 360’, will ‘support the objectives of all three series by enhancing Formula E’s proven race-to-road transfer model, enabling Extreme E to forge new frontiers, and spearheading E1’s revolutionary drive around marinemobility’, according to a statement.

PIF will be the sole principal partner of Formula E, Extreme E and E1, marking the first time one company has sponsored all three electric championships.

The initiative will deliver thought leadership events, STEM initiatives to coincide with each championship series around the world, and community apprenticeship programmes, all of which will come under the Electric 360 banner.

“This one-of-a-kind partnership with PIF is a huge milestone for us in our journey to pioneer the most cutting-edge sustainable transport technology,” said Alejandro Agag, founder and chairman of Formula E, Extreme E, and E1.

“With so many examples of the positive real-world impact of each series, this 360-partnership takes our potential to the next level.

“PIF will not only play a strategic role in helping us leverage our unique technological platforms, but also foster global collaboration, education and skills development for the next generation worldwide.”

To coincide with the announcement, it was also revealed that PIF will undergo a brand revamp, which will be used at all PIF partnership events, including Electric 360 events, throughout 2024 and beyond.

Mohamed AlSayyad, head of corporate brand at PIF, added: “Together with these championship series, Electric 360 will redefine electric sport and supercharge its growth, delivering tangible impact aligned with our broader business strategy as PIF drives new green technological innovation that will be the cornerstone of future electric mobility.”

BlackBook says…

The partnership follows the news that PIF already owned significant stakes in all three electric motorsport series. It is reported that the sovereign wealth fund owns five per cent of Formula E and 50 per cent of Extreme E and the new E1 Series.

With total estimated assets of US$776 billion, PIF is aligning itself with green motorsport in order to enhance its sustainability messaging. It is already considered the most sustainable sovereign wealth fund in the Middle East by Global SWF, a data company that tracks over 400 sovereign wealth funds.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest exporter of oil but has sought diversify its economy in recent years. The country has spent huge sums of money on sport through the PIF and is starting to make investments in electric vehicle manufacturing, meaning this partnership brings together both of those industries.

It’s interesting that this is a partnership focused on electric motorsport, though, with Extreme E’s transition to hydrogen power from next season.

Notably, this means the foremost sustainable motorsport series in the world will be even more closely affiliated with a country that has considerable concerns around its ESG credentials.

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