Santander ends Ferrari and F1 sponsorship

FILE PHOTO: Fernando Alonso of Spain (R) and former Banco Santander Chief Emilio Botin pose after cycling around the track ahead of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix September 19, 2012. REUTERS/Pablo Sanchez

(Reuters) - Santander is ending its long-running sponsorship of Ferrari and Formula One at the end of the season and teaming up with the Champions League, the Spanish bank announced on Wednesday.

The announcement came in a statement announcing a new three-year partnership with the UEFA competition.

“At the end of this year, Santander will conclude its successful sponsorship of the Formula One racing team, Scuderia Ferrari, which it has supported for the last eight seasons,” it said.

“The bank will also conclude its corporate sponsorship agreements with F1 which have helped increase Santander’s brand recognition around the world over the last 11 years.”

Ferrari finished runner-up in this year’s Formula One championship.

Santander’s sponsorship of Formula One’s oldest and most successful team coincided with the arrival there in 2010 of Spanish double world champion Fernando Alonso, who has been at McLaren for the past three years.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis