Lewis Hamilton has signed a management deal with Simon Fuller. Fuller’s XIX Entertainment company manages a number of big music and sporting names, the latter group including David Beckham and tennis Andy Murray.
His previous F1 venture was as marketing guru to the Honda team – a period that is widely regarded as a failure. He was behind the Earthdreams scheme that saw Honda pumping millions into a car that didn’t carry its own branding or indeed that of any sponsors. Honda withdrew from F1 at the end of the second season.
The new deal will clearly open up new earning potential for Hamilton, although McLaren drivers are very restricted in terms of what they can do outside the team, and he’ll also have to sign away a large percentage.
Hamilton said: “It was important I took my time to make this decision as it had to be right for my career and my long-term future. I spoke to many interested companies in recent months but I felt Simon Fuller along with his team at XIX Entertainment not only wanted to help me become an even better racing driver, but they also shared my ambitions for the longer term. I look forward to working with them closely.”
Fuller said: “Lewis is not only one of the leading sportsmen of his generation, he will I believe become one of the best of all time. It’s an honour to be partnering with Lewis in what will be a very exciting stage of his career.”
Co-incidentally Fuller is a long time friend of McLaren boss Ron Dennis, and got the Spice Girls to perform at the launch of the new silver livery in 1997.