Sponsor, Brands, Specialists and Suppliers: The Companies that supported the Chapman /Lotus Road & Racing Programme
Miller Brewing Company: One for the Road &Track
Lotus cars sold
They were bought for their:-
- Performance –road or track
- Driving pleasure
- Reputation and image
- Owner identification /personality extension etc.
All the above were integrated within a total framework design.
The above list is heavily dependent on a select group of components [either bought in proprietary or in house manufacture] that delivered the desired outcomes and met strict criteria.
Many of these components often contributed significantly to the overall aesthetic, many are extremely functional and beautiful in their own right .They formed part of a complementary whole.
In this series we examine:-
- significant Individual components from all the marque types
- Briefly explain their role /contribution /evaluation
- Analysis form and function with regard to their integration, where appropriate
- Provide suppliers/specialist advertising materials where appropriate
Understanding Lotus’s use of proprietary parts provides invaluable learning opportunities not just historical but right up to the present day. These lessons are not just applicable to automotive engineers/ designers but to the wider Industrial /Product Design professions.
The Skillful and creative adoption, absorption and integration of components was a powerful factor in the Chapman design methodology and contributed significantly to both competition and commercial success. It also feed his ability to mutate parts and materials to his desired ends.
The use of components is a fundamental skill of the Industrial Designer and the direct provision of added value.
The exact interpretation of sponsorship in conjunction with Lotus is difficult to establish objectively. The appearance of a sponsor’s logo on a car is not necessarily evidence of financial support. Access to historical archive and contracts is sought wherever possible but with the passage of time and for various reasons these are not always available or accessible to the public.
This series also embraces the specialist suppliers to Lotus. We are particularly interested in those suppliers and products that have a connectivity with aviation.
In constructing the historic sponsor series, the A&R looks only at the logos worn in period and assumes the company involved had no objection to Lotus promoting their products. The A&R sees much to be gained by the wider promotion of sponsors but in the event that a specific organization disapproves for any reason that article will be removed.
Sponsorship is an instrument of mutual benefit and promotion. Subscribers might like to see A&R articles on Sponsorship and Product Placement to understand the numerical / financial reach provided by sponsorship with its ability to identify and project status through identification.
The principle continues particularly with regard to education based exhibitions [see below for details]
Each of these articles is devoted to a company/ organization that is believed to have sponsored or supplied specialist items to Lotus.
The intention of each article is to: –
- Explain the sponsors own history and outline their products and services – past-present and future
- Explain the historical connection with Lotus and the contribution made both in competition and the production cars
- To suggest how these two interlocking facets may be translated into exciting, interpretive, educational and commercial exhibitions
Subscribers might to see complementary and structured pieces to this article: –
- Primary sponsors like Gold Leaf / John Player Specials
- Product Placement
- Separate dedicated series on engines and gearbox
- Logo on Lotus
- See Lotus at Indianapolis and Can-Am
Miller Brewing Co. Company Profile /Abbreviated summary
Miller Brewing Company was founded in Milwaukee in 1855 and is the world’s third largest brewer having shipped more than 44 million barrels of beer in 1993. Miller employs approximately 8000 people at seven breweries and several other facilities. Miller products are now available in 70 countries worldwide. Miller is a wholly owned subsidiary of Philip Morris Companies Inc. Miller has sponsored winning teams in all major American racing disciplines over the past 15 years, including Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500 champions.”
In the Chapman/Lotus era the Company was identified with:-
“Miller Coors brands have enjoyed iconic status in Indy car racing dating to the 1970s when Miller Brewing Company began a team sponsorship role that lasted nearly three decades. Drivers the calibre of Al Unser, Danny Sullivan and Bobby Rahal all raced with sponsorship from Miller brands, including Sullivan’s improbable “spin and win” performance in the 1985 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race that remains today as one of the favourites in Indy 500 lore.
Sullivan (1988) and Rahal (1992) each drove to an Indy car season championship carrying the colours of Miller brands. Miller was also a long time race title sponsor of the annual Indy car race at The Milwaukee Mile.”
Miller sponsored the Lotus 109 in 1994.
Period Address for economic geography exercise
American based, see website details below etc.
Our learning /educational opportunities are intended to be challenging thought provoking and requiring additional research and/or analysis.
These opportunities are particularly designed for a museum/education centre location where visitors would be able to enjoy access to all the structured resources available in conjunction with any concurrent exhibition.
Understanding the potential of componentry particularly proprietary items provides some of the following learning opportunities; in this instance we suggest the following might be appropriate:-
Specific to Miller Brewing Company
- Miller has tended to support American National racing over F1, explain the reason
- Study a cross section or Miller advertisement what appears as the primary audience?
- Compare and contrast the alcohol sponsors of Lotus, what do they have in common?
- Does Miller and motor racing creative negative associations that might damage the brand?
- Miller has been associated with Penske, set out details
- Explore the multinational nature of Miller and how might audience, products, and strategy and commercially objectives influence marketing?
- Study the economic geography of Brewing in America, what are the primary raw materials? Where are they located? And what has been the bulk distribution system or network?
- Miller like many multinational have diversified throughout their history give examples in this case
- Breweries have a distinctive Architecture, what is the form and function?
- What is the size and value of the industry
- How has it changed? And what is its future 2020 onwards?
- Use a technical dictionary where needed to define components and roles
- Was there a viable alternative to the part under consideration?
- Is what might it have been /cost?
- Examine the suppliers/specialist advertising what does it convey? And what is its iconography?
- Integrate this item with our series on the economic geography of motor sports locations and manufacturing bases
- Has the component had exposure at any motor shows?
- Does the company continue to supply classic/heritage parts?
- What changes in technology and materials have impacted on Lotus through its history?
- How does component design impact on form and function
- Does the supplier/specialist have aviation links? If so what?
- What is the importance of ergonomics and how does it influence modern automobile design?
- Does excessive safety/ and or ergonomics impact negatively on aesthetics
- What is the impact of standardization of platforms through mark ranges and indeed shared with other manufacturers? Could uniformity ultimately impact on sales even if economies of scale improved?
- Enumerate Lotus bought in components
- How has mass production and proprietary parts assisted the specialist car market?
- Produce an engineering drawing of a selected component and consider the specification of the materials and assembly process, costs and volume
- Explore an enumerate supplier/specialists components used in other Industrial Design fields
- How did the supplier/specialist extract value from their sponsorship/support?
- Explore Graces Guide for further background detail
- Study the economic geography of the British auto industry what factors determined locations?
- What have been the causes of change and circumstance that have impacted on British motor industry?
- What has been the role of F1 /motor sport valley based around Bicester?
- What is the importance of outsourcing to the motor industry?
- Study a British car specialist like Morgan, TVR, Ginetta or Lotus where do they source parts? What are the advantages?
Exhibitions, Education, Economics and Entertainment
In the museum context the editors believe that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.
For these reasons our suggested outline Business Plan includes provision for promoting products and services which share Chapman’s ideals of mechanical efficiency and sustainability. In addition we propose merchandising that explain and interprets the social and cultural context of Chapman’s designs in period. It’s suggested there will be catalogue for on line purchasing.
In this instance we suggest the following exhibition titles might be appropriate:-
|Miller Brewing Co||Gives Lotus a head start|
|Miller Brewing Co||Head and shoulders above the brewers|
|Miller Brewing Co||Miller and Mobil: the essential fluids|
|Miller Brewing Co||Light ale and the Lotus lite|
|Miller Brewing Co||Lotus Special Brew|
|Miller Brewing Co||No small beer|
|Miller Brewing Co||A pint and a chaser|
|Miller Brewing Co||a Stella Solution|
|Miller Brewing Co||Lifts Lotus spirits|
|Miller Brewing Co||Spirits and Elan a vital force|
|Miller Brewing Co||Spirited and Racy|
|Miller Brewing Co||Spirit level – Lotus on the straight and narrow|
|Miller Brewing Co||Cocktails and Cockpits|
|Miller Brewing Co||The Millers Tale|
|Miller Brewing Co||One for the Road &Track|
|Miller Brewing Co||Getting high spirited and Loctite|
- Lotus Parts: Past ,Present Future
- Lotus Parts: The Winning Factor
- The Principle Part
- Act the Part
- Assign the Part
- Lotus Components
- Lotus Components :Parts and Parcel
- Lotus Sponsors, Specialist and Suppliers:Form,Function and Forte
- Lotus Components:Parts and Partiality
- Lotus Aesthetics : With little to spare
- Lotus Cars: Spare and Slender
- Product launch with title of dedicated specific relevance
Conclusion: “The whole is greater………”
Lotus to the 1990’s and early 21st. Century
The editors follow Taylor’s example and primarily trace Lotus development into the 1990’s.
We do so for the following reasons:
- To study continuity and benchmarking between the eras of Chapman and note the evolutionary trends with changing technologies and related factors
- We attempt to be comprehensive and inclusive attempting to avoid over concentration on this halcyon era
- Although less equipped to discuss the advanced technologies we attempt to provide a coverage, thereby addressing generational perspectives
Miller Brewing Company sponsored Lotus in the last stages of their linkages back to Chapman.
Taylor records their 37 seasons in the background context of the type 109 .In the 1990’s Lotus were not fully competitive and were suffering finance difficulties in the F1 programme.
It’s important to explore Honda‘s involvement in motorsport to the present day.
We suspect that the possibility many Japanese industries sponsored Lotus because of the Honda engine.They possibly did this from loyalty but also significant commercial advantage.National interests have played an important role in the history of motor sport and this ought be studied for its multi-faceted interactions.
Although our economic geography exercise tends to concentrate on the UK, it’s important to recognise changing manufacturing patterns and locations, the causes and effects.
There can be little doubt about the contribution made by Miller.They have tended to support American National racing and this is possibly related to commercial considerations of their products and their consumption in North America.
Miller Brewing Company has supported Penske and this is worth of study.
Components were material to reliability and competitiveness.
Chapman’s design and manufacturing methodology rather confirms the adage that “the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts”.
It’s an interesting an important study to consider deployment of components. It contributes to aesthetics, assembly economics and sales [attractive components/ known accepted performance and servicing ability etc.]
It is equally and mutually relevant and beneficial to the component manufacturer.
Chapman and his colleagues often took the best / most appropriate mass produced item and almost reinvented it in its service to design objectives. In this manner many components acquired a new status and indeed their aesthetic was enhanced surrounded by the Chapman conceptual whole.
It’s also extremely significant how many of these components were also used in Lotus competition cars. This created a powerful dynamic and interrelationship. Many components:-
- Performed well in competition gaining beneficial publicity and sales
- Both the component and racing reputation carried through to road cars and assisted sales
- The component manufacturer gained disproportionate publicity and assisted products sell in other applications
- All together a beneficial spiral was commenced. Publicity of the era often opted to highlight the Lotus dimension in publicity material. In fact there was a powerful synergy.
The relationship between Lotus and is sponsor specialist suppliers is significant and worthy of close study and has lessons for Engineering, Industrial Design and Manufacturing disciplines.
Along the way it’s possible too to study the wider British motor component industry and how it has helped foster the specialist car manufacturers.
Sponsorship is a worldwide phenomenon of immense commercial impotence. Both to host and sponsor organization.
With the Passage of time it’s likely to become more sophisticated and focused and the internet /multimedia technology will play greater role.
Sponsors have existed in motorsport before Chapman but he vigorously exploited the concept with Gold Leaf c 1967/68 and set a pattern for others to follow.
Sponsors of Lotus were likely to benefit financially and in terms of exposure to an extent greater than their investment. The benefits were, and remain essentially similar to present day:-
- Access to mass international audience consistent with mass production distribution marketing branding etc.
- Demographics of viewing audience and interest groups
- Additional subsidiary /secondary advertising through media, news, magazines etc.
- Identification with market /brand /marque leader in both F1 and road cars
- Association with success and continuity evolving, developing technology, materials etc.
- In period the identification with the charm ,charisma and ability to articulate that Chapman possessed
- All the attendant glamour , drama ,danger ,and spectacle of F1
- Ability to provide conducive hospitality to conduct business
- Cost effectiveness of audience cost ratio
- Possible further complex corporate benefits
Appendix 1: Context and operation of sponsorship from the net:-
- Learn how sponsorship motives have evolved.
- Be able to differentiate between advertising and sponsorship.
- Learn the advantages of each of the key promotion tools.
- Identify the six categories of sponsorship opportunities.
- Distinguish between self-evident and strategic linkages.
- Learn the trends in spending on sponsorships.
- Gain insight as to how ambush marketing and leveraging play roles.
- Develop a basic understanding of the three special cases of sponsorship.
- Identify the five key sponsorship objectives.
- Learn the importance of each sponsorship objective.
- Understand the concept of matching.
- Learn the potential components of a sponsorship plan.
- View a comprehensive example of a sponsorship.
Gain an awareness of controversies regarding sponsorship.
Appendix 2: Beer
Beer is probably the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world and Americans consume an estimated 6.3 billion gallons of beer annually. To keep up with demand, there are numerous breweries around the country, with many dating back to the mid-19th century. While most of the breweries on this list are owned by the largest brewing companies in the world, a few have remained owned by their founding families. All of these breweries are still operational and many of them produce beverages for other brands in addition to their own.
Appendix 3: Millers and Penske
About Penske Racing
Penske Racing is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have produced over 340 major race wins – including a record 15 Indianapolis 500 victories, more than 410 pole positions and 23 National Championships. For more information about Penske Racing, please visit www.penskeracing.com.
Marks of Excellence.P.Mollerup.Phaidon Press.1997.
Internet websites and local History
Aircraft of the Fighting Powers.Cooper&Thetford.Vol.1.Aircraft [Technical] Publications.1940.
An extensive bibliography is provided in A&R article on John Players Specials/Gold Leaf
Industrial Design A-Z.C&P Fiell.Taschen.
Art of the Formula 1 Race Car. Mann, Codling.Motorbooks.2010
Lotus 24, 25, 28, 29, 33.Unique.
Lotus 49, 49B, 49C, 49F.Unique.
International Corporate Identity.Olins.Laurence King.1995
International Motor Racing 1978.Ed by B.Gill.Macdonald and Jane’s.1978
The International Motor Show. Offical Catalogue.1966
Motor Racing Directory 1955-56 [Ed by staff of “Motor Racing”] Pearl Cooper.
Motor Racing Directory.Kettlewell.
Autosport A-Z Motorsport Directory. [Annual editions] Haymarket
Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Technology.Hillier & Pittuck.Hutchinson.1967.
Colin Chapman.Lawrence Breedon.2002.
Coventry Climax Racing Engine’s.Hammill.Veloce.2004.
Lotus, Coventry Climax and Cosworth Engine’s.Pitt.Unique.