McLaren Racing will run a DeadlyScience logo, a First Nations nonprofit, on its car at this weekend’s Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Workflow giant Smartsheet donated its sponsorship spot on both of McLaren’s MCL36 2022 Formula 1 race cars to make the change happen.
DeadlyScience is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to providing remote Australian communities with STEM resources and mentoring. DeadlyScience was founded by Kamilaroi man Corey Tutt after finding under-resourced schools were discouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids from pursuing STEM. Since its founding, DeadlyScience has put over 20,000 books and stem resources in over 100 remote communities across Australia.
And this weekend, the DeadlyScience logo will take pride of place on both McLaren cars as they take to Melbourne’s Albert Park street circuit.
For Tutt, it’s a small gesture with a potentially massive impact. “DeadlyScience is a small team with a big mission: to introduce STEM education to kids who have so much potential, but just need someone to believe in them,” said Tutt in a statement. “It means the world for Smartsheet to donate this sponsorship and believe in the important work we are doing. When the kids see DeadlyScience on the car, they’re going to know it represents them.”
What’s genuinely wild is that the Sponsor X program marks a world-first. Formula 1 sponsorship slots are as coveted as they are expensive. Getting your logo on a Formula 1 car is a special kind of miracle. As a result, people lucky enough to secure these slots aren’t exactly eager to give them away. This, of course, was all part of the plan for Smartsheet when it signed its deal with McLaren. In a sport with a habit of throwing morality overboard in return for a bag of money, it’s nice to see a genuine social good win out for once.
For Smartsheet to give up its extremely prominent slot to spotlight an organisation that would struggle to get this kind of visibility is wonderful, but it shouldn’t be a world-first move. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. It should be something we see happen a lot more.
McLaren Racing is home to Formula 1’s sole Australian driver, Daniel Ricciardo. This weekend, he will race at home for the first time since the Australian Grand Prix’s cancellation in 2020.
Find out more about DeadlyScience, and make a donation if you’re so inclined, at its website.