During a Law in Sport seminar held in London, Caroline McGrory, Mercedes director of legal and commercial affairs has commented on the challenges the team face from team partners HUGO BOSS and PUMA when it comes to Lewis Hamilton’s personal fashion choices.
It’s constantly monitored,” Caroline commented. “I always have to send stroppy messages on race weekends telling Lewis to stop wearing his bright yellow Louis Vuitton trainers when he should be wearing his Puma trainers.”
“He is very into his fashion, he is experimenting with his different styles at the moment, constantly going to fashion shows,” McGrory said. “We get a phone call from Hugo Boss saying, ‘Why is Lewis at an Alexander McQueen show?’ He’s doing that in his personal time. Actually he’s allowed to do that.
“But it’s a fine line because then we have to phone Lewis up and say, ‘Actually can you please not tweet so much about all these other fashion designers. Just say something nice about Hugo Boss now and then.’”
Drivers don’t like the fact they receive no additional cash from team sponsorships.
“It also blocks out the category for the driver to be able to go and do their own personal deal,” McGrory added. “So they are often not that happy when we do a team deal when they are not making any money from it.”
It’s not just the drivers who have to be on-message with sponsors. Until last season Blackberry was a Mercedes sponsor, which meant team members couldn’t be seen to be using Apple’s iPhones.
“Even the bosses had their iPhones in their back pocket,” McGrory said. “Publicly they had to have their Blackberrys.”
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