LONDON - The lucrative worlds of football and Formula One joined forces Monday when Chelsea and Sauber announced a deal that shed light on the mysterious inscriptions on the Swiss team's cars in recent grands prix.
The partnership will see the Champions League finalists and Sauber exchange knowledge in sport science, launch joint commercial initiatives and share merchandising, marketing and sponsorship opportunities.
Chelsea's crest will appear on Sauber's cars from next week's Spanish Grand Prix while the Premier League club will show the Sauber logo on advertising boards and interview walls at its home matches, with the aim of increasing the market presence of the teams outside their own sports.
"This is an innovative partnership that will see a football club link up with an F1 team like never before, bringing together two of the world's biggest sports and uniting our fans," Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said.
The deal explains the reason behind Sauber having "Out of the Blue" and "True Blue" inscribed on the engine covers of the cars of drivers Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi in recent races in China and Bahrain.
"The football club benefits from Formula One's television reach which, compared with the Premier League, is much higher and more international," Sauber said in a statement. "Particularly in Asia, Formula One enjoys enormous TV presence and, not least thanks to (Mexican) Sergio Perez, is currently captivating more and more fans in Latin America as well."
Chelsea, which is managed by Swiss-born Italian coach Roberto Di Matteo, beat Barcelona on aggregate last week to reach the Champions League final. It will play Bayern Munich on May 19.
Sauber has picked up a total of 31 points from the opening four grands prix of the 2012 season.