Max Verstappen is losing one of his longest-serving and biggest personal sponsors.
Last year, Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo’s CEO and owner Fritz van Eerd was embroiled in a money laundering scandal.
Almost all of Jumbo’s sporting sponsorships were subsequently scrapped, except the highest profile one – 25-year-old back-to-back world champion Verstappen.
But according to Algemeen Dagblad newspaper, that is now changing – with news that Jumbo will also stop working with the Red Bull driver at the end of 2023.
Van Eerd has now departed, and his successor Ton van Veen says Jumbo needs to look away from sports sponsorships.
“Max is of course a folk hero, but he acts on the absolute world stage,” said the new CEO. “We are a very good food retailer, but only in the Netherlands and a little bit in Belgium.
“We invest more than 20 million euros annually in sports sponsorship, 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,” CEO van Veen added.
The bigger issue, however, is that Jumbo’s motorsport contracts are at the core of the criminal investigation into the previous CEO.
“We want nothing to do with motorsport and the allegations,” van Veen confirmed.
“But with Max Verstappen and (cycling team) Jumbo-Visma, we’re stopping for a completely different reason. That sponsorship has brought us a lot of brand awareness, but we have now won everything there is to win.”