Five years after leaving Formula One to compete in the electric Formula E series, the German clothing company Hugo Boss said on Thursday that it will be returning with the Aston Martin team.
The agreement, which was first announced at the British Grand Prix on Thursday, will see Boss branding on the F1 cars with immediate effect with the company providing team apparel from 2023. It will originally last until 2025.
The appeal of Netflix's "Drive to Survive" docuseries, new regulations to make racing more competitive, and a push for sustainability, according to Hugo Boss Chief Executive Daniel Grieder, were persuasive elements.
Another factor was a 30-year connection with Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, owner of Aston Martin, who first made his fortune in the fashion business before buying the sports car brand made famous by fictional British spy James Bond.
Grieder stated, "We want to develop into a 24/7 lifestyle brand.
It's a similar story when you see what Lawrence did with Aston Martin.
Hugo Boss spent decades with previous champions McLaren before switching to Mercedes in 2015, the team that has dominated for the past eight years.
The deal was ending because Formula E was "more inventive and sustainable," according to former CEO Mark Langer, and electric racing was more appealing to a younger audience, he told German weekly magazine Focus in 2017.
Grieder said that had not held.
"It failed to survive. Formula E and Formula One were never interchangeable. It didn't become as pertinent as it ought to have," he claimed.
"Formula One has returned and is stronger than ever. The athletes are dedicated to creating a more sustainable planet and sport on a worldwide scale.
"I think the sport is even than vital than ever, and everyone around the globe is watching, and there are so many fans who are enjoying it right now.
It was also appealing to have three races in the US the next year; "I think the balance they found currently is ideal," remarked Grieder.
According to him, Hugo Boss is now a platform with two brands that appeal to distinct age groups: Boss for millennials between 25 and 40, and Hugo for "Gen Z" under-25s who are more interested in music and the arts.
I believe that this combination of Aston Martin and Boss is ideal, he remarked.