Tommy Hilfiger Partnership Sponsors F1 Academy Driver Nerea Martí

ON THE RIGHT TRACK: Tommy Hilfiger is speeding up its collaborations with Formula 1 teams, which it has had since the ’90s.

The PVH Corp.-owned company has joined forces with the F1 Academy, which has 15 drivers, to help advance young female drivers. A capstone of the deal is a sponsorship with leading racer Nerea Martí. Hilfiger’s Formula 1 heritage was on full display when Martí recently debuted the Tommy Hilfiger branded car and a race suit at the pre-season testing in Saudi Arabia, which ended Friday.

The 22-year-old Spanish driver competes with Campos Racing in the F1 Academy. She started karting at the age of 9 and joined Spanish F4 in 2019. She switched tracks to the W Series two years later and wrapped up the season in fourth place in the drivers’ standings. Martí did so by earning the best-placed rookie slot scoring points in every race that year.

By drawing attention to the F1 Academy, the partnership is designed for both entities to champion female drivers and help elevate them to elite levels of competition. A few weeks ago, Martí hinted at her new alliance on Instagram by posting a video of her having a look in the Tommy Hilfiger showroom in New York and trying on some of the designer’s sportswear.

“Excited by Tommy Hilfiger’s approach for this season,” Martí said in a statement. “It’s amazing to wear their colors as we push the limits in every race.” She also lauded him for backing the F1 Academy and “standing behind female drivers and helping us break boundaries.” The Gen Z-er said that off the track she is looking forward to activations and events with the brand that will help her grow professionally and personally.

Formula 1’s global audience is in sync with Tommy Hilfiger, which racked up $9.1 billion in retail sales in 2022 and has 2,000-plus retail sales worldwide. Many associate Hilfiger with a leader in Formula 1 racing — Lewis Hamilton — whom the designer has collaborated with and supported for a few years. The designer has an ongoing partnership with Mercedes AMG Formula One Team. However, the seven-time world champion sent shockwaves through Formula 1 last month by announcing that he will join the Ferrari team next year.

A self-described “lifelong fan of motorsport,” Hilfiger said in a statement, “The world of racing is developing at an incredible pace and the F1 Academy is at the forefront of this movement,” adding that he is looking forward to working with managing director Susie Wolff, Marti and the entire F1 Academy team “as they break barriers in a traditionally male-dominated sport.”

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