In most U.S. states and much of the world you still have to be 16 years old to get a driver’s license. But that hasn’t stopped one 12-year-old boy from earning the first sponsor in support of his auto racing career.
Emerson Fittipaldi, Jr. this week picked up the Brand Institute as a sponsor. Emmo, as his family and friends call him, is the son of legendary Brazilian race car driver Emerson Fittipaldi, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time Formula 1 champion.
The Brand Institute, an organization and branding agency known for its work developing major brand names and identities, entered into the agreement with Fittipaldi Racing to become the main sponsor of the young driver, who currently competes in the FIA Karting League. Brand Institute chairman and CEO James L. Dettore spoke publicly about the new partnership.
“Racing runs in the Fittipaldi family and like his father before him, Emmo is an exceptionally talented driver with incredible ambition and drive. (We are) honored to be Emmo’s main sponsor, and we are committed to supporting his efforts toward becoming a champion Formula 1 race car driver.”
The Karting League, which runs an annual competition called Karting World Championship, operates as a joint project under the Commission Internationale de Karting (CIK), the primary international sanctioning body for kart racing, or racing of open-wheel go-carts, and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). Headquartered in Paris, France and founded in 1962, the CIK joined up with FIA in 2000 to bolster kart racing and also develop young drivers seeking to compete in the European circuit and in IndyCar competition.
Currently, all major CIK go-karting competitions take place in Europe, and Emmo Fittipaldi is set to race in the Karting League’s Junior category for the next three years.
In addition to new driver sponsorship, the Brand Institute is also partnering with the Fittipaldi Family on a YouTube video series. The mini-series titled Emmo Fittipaldi: The Road to Formula 1 will showcase Emmo’s journey toward becoming a champion, from training both on and off the race track to actual race competition, while balancing his family life and schooling.
Emmo’s father was equally enthused about the deal with the Brand Institute and the upcoming series.
“We will start with Formula 4, on the way to achieve Emmo’s dream of being a Formula 1 driver (and) are extremely happy with the support we have received from Brand Institute.”
The premier episode of Road to Formula 1 debuts tonight at 5 P.M. EST and can be watched on Emmo’s YouTube channel here.