When Formula E met BBC’s The Apprentice

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When Formula E met BBC’s The Apprentice

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship featured on the popular BBC show The Apprentice on Thursday.

Formula E_The Apprentice_04

Fans of motorsport and business were in for a treat in the latest episode of The Apprentice, when the candidates were challenged with creating their own Formula E team! The program, which is fronted by British businessman Lord Alan Sugar, is currently in its 18th season and remains one of the most popular television shows in the United Kingdom. 

At the start of the episode, the two teams were sent to Battersea Power Station. This new site isn’t far from Battersea Park, which is where the all-electric championship held its finales in the first two seasons. The candidates were met by two GEN3 Formula E cars, as well as Jaguar TCS Racing Team Principal James Barclay and Reigning World Champion Jake Dennis (Andretti). 

Formula E_The Apprentice_03

What was the challenge?

The task involved creating a race team, designing a logo and colour scheme and pitching to sponsors for a place on the side of their race cars. Sounds easy, right? 

Both teams opted to provide an important message with their racing teams – highlighting the amount of single-use plastic in the oceans and electric cars' role in cutting down on air pollution. However, questionable decisions from the design teams didn’t help, with confusing logos and promotional videos hindering their efforts when it came to pitching to potential sponsors. 

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Whilst one half of each team were creating assets, the other half spoke to potential title sponsors for their fictional race team. As part of this, two of Formula E’s actual sponsors got involved! Allianz, who offers personal and commercial insurance solutions, and Tata Communications, an Indian telecommunications company, both were in discussions with each respective team about sponsoring big parts of the GEN3 cars without having seen the liveries. 

We all know in motorsport, sponsorship is key and spots on the car can be expensive; especially in places like a sidepod or the front wing which are often always visible. As a result of this, a logo must be clearly visible and on a sensible background - a memo one of the teams didn’t seem to get! 

How did they do?

Finally, the teams got a final chance to fill any empty places on the car with other sponsors. We won’t give too much away, but the winners managed to secure a record-breaking £38.7 million in sponsorship during the show - the most ever seen since The Apprentice debuted in 2005. 

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Teams were sure to get involved too, with the likes of Andretti and Envision having fun with all the Formula E talk!