Verstappen, First F1 Driver to Reach One Billion Euros? Despite Losing Longtime Sponsor. The CEO of Jumbo, Max Verstappen’s longtime sponsor, Ton van Veen, explained why the Dutch supermarket chain ended its Formula 1 ties at the end of 2023.
Jumbo had been linked with Verstappen well before his Formula 1 debut at 17 in 2015.
Verstappen’s Triumphs Reshape F1 Landscape
Since then, Verstappen has become a fixture in the sport’s history, clinching three consecutive drivers’ championships and 53 Grand Prix victories.
The Dutchman’s rising popularity led to the return of the Netherlands Grand Prix at Zandvoort in 2021 after a 36-year hiatus, featuring Jumbo as one of the official partners.
However, in June last year, Jumbo announced it would cut back on sports partnership spending to focus investments on its customers. This followed the October 2022 resignation of Jumbo’s former CEO, Frits van Eerd, amid an alleged money laundering investigation.
Van Veen, promoted from CFO, has now revealed why he chose to cease the company’s high-level sports involvement.
“In recent years, Jumbo somewhat lost its focus. We took on several activities that didn’t necessarily strengthen the brand. We also became very active in sports sponsorship.”
“When we look at athletes’ and teams’ achievements, we must consider if it suits us. Max Verstappen is a world champion. But we are a Dutch supermarket business, not even the largest. Globally, we have little presence.”
“This means we’re no longer investing tens of millions in sports sponsorship but using them to lower prices. That’s the essence of Jumbo as it should be.”
As a prominent sports figure, Verstappen is unlikely to lack companies lining up with enticing sponsorship proposals.
Max Verstappen Career Earnings
The 26-year-old driver’s success, including winning 19 out of 22 races in 2023, led F1 business expert Mark Gallagher to speculate he could become “the first Formula 1 driver worth a billion euros.”
“The reason I say this is because you don’t have to spend long with a calculator to see it.”
“He’s been in Formula 1 since 17, and even with a relatively modest salary trajectory, he’s already in the nine figures – hundreds of millions of euros in career earnings so far.”
“He potentially has a long way to go. An interesting aspect of Max is he might not stay as long, as he certainly doesn’t need to stay to make a lot of money.”
“He’s already earned a lot, and he will make a lot until his Red Bull contract ends in 2028.”
“His contracts aren’t stratospheric – they’re not personal sponsorship deals like Nike/NBA – but they’re significant.”
“When you start adding them up, if you get 1.5 million euros here or 2 million there – on top of your salary – you can see he’s reached a point where it’s no wonder he seems so relaxed about everything in his life.”
“He’s literally in a class of his own, and that’s why he’s already thinking about the future with his own GT3 and sim racing teams. He has the savvy to grow his earnings.”
Max Verstappen Career Earnings. Max Verstappen Career Earnings