Why UBS chose Formula One to resuscitate its reputation

Geoffrey Precourt

UBS is a Swiss global financial-services company that operates in more than 40 countries and employs 64,000 staff around the world. That raises some interesting issues when it comes to a sponsorship strategies.

"With global activation, you can't apply one type of activation, or one type of partnership that works for all business units," said Philipp Wildhaber, the company's Head of Sponsorship/Americas. "A wealth-management group is a business-to-consumer operation; the investment bank is the business-to-business equivalent. And because we're an integrated firm—because all our divisions operate under one brand—our sponsorships need to work for all of our businesses."

Wildhaber came to the United States from UBS' Zurich headquarters to direct sponsorship activities in arts and culture for the Americas. His portfolio included Chicago's Ravinia Festival, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Art Basel/Miami Beach, and exhibitions at leading museums.