Blasting off at Silverstone: World-First Sponsor X Initiative Puts Nonprofit Igniting a Creativity Revolution on Global Formula 1 Stage with Smartsheet and McLaren Racing
Back for a second season at McLaren’s home circuit, the Smartsheet initiative will raise awareness of STEAM Co. and their important work to inspire the next generation of problem-solvers and creative doers
LONDON, 28 June 2023 – Following the groundbreaking first year of Sponsor X, Smartsheet (NYSE:SMAR), the enterprise platform for work management, and McLaren Racing are bringing back the initiative for the 2023 Formula 1 season. Building up to and at the British Grand Prix, both organisations will spotlight UK-based nonprofit, STEAM Co. as the next Sponsor X taking the place of Smartsheet on McLaren’s race cars at Silverstone on 7-9 July 2023.
“We launched Sponsor X to give deserving nonprofits a global platform that puts their purpose front and center,” said Andrew Bennett, chief marketing officer at Smartsheet. “We’re going bigger in Sponsor X’s second season, starting with McLaren’s home race where we’re proud to shine a light on STEAM Co. Their work making sure children do not lose their capacity for creativity will help shape the next innovators, engineers, and technologists that fuel organisations like ours, McLaren, and the world.”
Igniting creativity in schools across England
Smartsheet and STEAM Co. believe that the future is bright, but only if the next generation are able and empowered to make it that way. STEAM Co. puts the “A” of art into STEM by inspiring children to aim higher than high in life, powered by creativity and community. Founded by a dad on a mission, Nick Corston, STEAM Co. runs creativity sessions in primary schools and community fetes and festivals across England that spark inspiration, curiosity, and imagination to help kids develop much-needed critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
“Our work at STEAM Co. is important because creativity is important, yet programmes that foster creativity and imagination are often the first to be cut when budgets tighten,” said Corston. “I believe that we are all born artists, and creating a creativity revolution can inspire our children, connect communities, and power the economy. By Smartsheet and McLaren asking our organisation to participate in Sponsor X, it not only meant they saw the shared dream, but it was validation that this cause truly matters.”
Ahead of the British Grand Prix, STEAM Co., Smartsheet, and McLaren will host one-of-a-kind STEAM Co. sessions, including a creativity day at a Woking school and a hands-on engineering day at the Silverstone circuit. Primary school students will learn how to build rockets and code mini-race cars; hear from McLaren driver Lando Norris, engineers, and STEM ambassadors; and receive a special behind-the-scenes look at the McLaren Technology Centre.
With the increased awareness from Sponsor X, STEAM Co. hope to receive the financial support needed to increase the number of Creativity Day Art Trucks in their fleet so they can inspire every child in England to dream higher than high. Learn more about STEAM Co.’s mission here.
Reimagining what a sponsorship can do
Sponsor X puts the Smartsheet mission into action by elevating people and organisations doing work that truly matters. The first-of-its-kind initiative launched at the 2022 Australian Grand Prix with local STEM nonprofit, DeadlyScience, making them the first Indigenous organisation to be featured on a Formula 1 car. Smartsheet then brought Sponsor X to the United States Grand Prix with The Hidden Genius Project, who train and mentor Black male youth while tackling the misconception there’s a lack of Black STEM talent
“Partnering with Smartsheet on Sponsor X gave our organisation a global stage to elevate the work that we do, highlight the promise of our young people, and hopefully inspire them to reveal their inner Genius,” said Brandon Nicholson, Ph.D., chief executive officer at The Hidden Genius Project. “This initiative provides a unique opportunity to share exciting stories about our dynamic young leaders, and the myriad ways in which they are impacting our society for the better each day. The first Sponsor X, DeadlyScience, walked so we could run–and now it’s time for STEAM Co. to fly.”
“Sponsor X continues to be a forward-thinking programme, pushing the boundaries of partnership collaboration. Delivering an initiative with authentic value and the hero activity of swapping a partner’s logo for a charity on our race car is something we had never seen before,” said Louise McEwen, executive director, brand and marketing at McLaren Racing. “We are excited that Smartsheet continues to spotlight these important causes through Sponsor X. What STEAM Co. are doing to foster creativity in our future generations can have such a positive impact on us today and tomorrow.”
Read more about the evolution of the Sponsor X initiative here.
Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR) is the enterprise platform for work management. By aligning people and technology so organisations can move faster and drive innovation, Smartsheet enables its millions of users to achieve more. Visit www.smartsheet.com to learn more.
About McLaren Racing
McLaren Racing was founded by racing driver Bruce McLaren 60 years ago in 1963. The team entered its first Formula 1 race in 1966. McLaren has since won 20 Formula 1 world championships, 183 Formula 1 grands prix, the Indianapolis 500 three times, and the Le Mans 24 Hours at its first attempt.
McLaren Racing competes across five racing series. In 2023, the team will compete in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship with McLaren F1 drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES with Arrow McLaren drivers Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist and Alexander Rossi, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with NEOM McLaren Formula E Team drivers René Rast and Jake Hughes, and the Extreme E Championship with NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team drivers Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust. The team also competes in the F1 Esports Pro Championship as McLaren Shadow, having won the 2022 Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships.
McLaren is a champion for sustainability in the sport and a signatory to the UN Sports for Climate Action Commitment. It is committed to achieving net zero by 2040 and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture in the motorsport industry.