The Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo will no longer sponsor Max Verstappen at the conclusion of the 2023 Formula 1 season.
In addition, it will also no longer to a partner of the Dutch Grand Prix, which returned to the calendar in 2021.
Jumbo and Verstappen have been linked for 10 years, with the chain one of his first major sponsors in Formula 3.
The brand will now be withdrawing from sports sponsorship completely, according to CEO Ton van Veen.
The announcement comes after former CEO Frits van Eerd stepped down from his role in October 2022 following an investigation into money laundering. The departure from sports sponsorship is intended to return Jumbo to its roots and steer it away from past controversies.
Max is of course a folk hero, but he acts on the absolute world stage,” van Veen told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.
“We are a very good food retailer, but only in the Netherlands and a bit in Belgium. We invest more than 20 million euros in sports sponsorship every year, but I can only spend every euro once.
“We cannot return the money that goes to Max to the customer, or put it into sustainability or health.”
Jumbo’s departure from sports sponsorship extends to the Dutch Grand Prix. The company will pull it’s backing after this season’s event and will also cut ties with its cycling team, Jumbo-Visma.
“We don’t want anything to do with motorsport and suspicions,” van Veen said.
“With Max Verstappen and Jumbo-Visma we stop for a completely different reason. That sponsorship has brought us a lot of brand awareness, but we have now won everything there is to be won.”
Max Verstappen’s manager, Raymond Vermeulen, responded to the news on the behalf of Verstappen, saying his team were “grateful” for the support over the last ten years.
“The Van Eerd and Jumbo family have supported Max from day one. That could certainly be called very unique at the time. We look back on a fantastic collaboration,” he told De Telegraaf.
“After ten years, it’s not at all strange to recalibate the matter. Above all, we are very grateful and look back on all these years with great pleasure. This year we can hopefully get a third world title together and close it with a bang.”