1970: Steve McQueen stars in the race film classic Le Mans
2014: Patrick Dempsey takes the relay… TAG Heuer once again makes history at Le Mans
Le Mans, 11 June 2014 — TAG Heuer and Dempsey Racing signed a long-term partnership this week-end during the 24 Hours of Le Mans. More than 40 years after Steve McQueen starred in the race classic Le Mans with a Monaco chronograph on his wrist, the asphalt once again belongs to TAG Heuer and Hollywood.
It is asphalt that TAG Heuer never really quit: in 1973, Scuderia Ferrari proudly bore the TAG Heuer logo on its 312PB prototypes; and in 2009, with Peugeot Sport, and then 2010-2013 with Audi Sport, the brand won 5 titles.
This year, the pioneering Swiss brand has decided to enter the world’s most prestigious endurance race in support of Dempsey Racing that – in partnership with Proton Competition – is competing in this year’s race with team drivers Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Patrick Long.
Dempsey, a Grey’s Anatomy leading man and popular Hollywood actor, is also a top-tier international sports car racing driver and team owner. A long and fruitful partnership between his Dempsey Racing team and the world chronograph leader is now underway, TAG Heuer will promote the team’s achievements in its new advertising campaign, and its iconic shield will be visible on the car and the drivers’ racing suits in every race.
Beyond a passion for speed, TAG Heuer and Dempsey Racing share values of performance, courage and the spirit of freedom: “We are writing an exciting new page in our history,” said Stéphane Linder, CEO of TAG Heuer. “Not only in endurance races but also in watchmaking. On the one hand, we have an actor who, like Steve McQueen before him, is not afraid to take risks; and, on the other, a brand that never ceases to amaze, surprise and excite.”
“This new partnership opens up great new perspectives for me,” Dempsey said. “It’s exciting but does comes with a bit pressure to succeed. Becoming part of TAG Heuer’s living legacy that goes back to Jo Siffert, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost makes me humble. I will have to give my best and, as the famous TAG Heuer slogan goes, never crack under pressure.”
“Pressure is manageable,” said Jean-Claude Biver, Head of Watchmaking Division at Louis Vuitton Moët Henessy (LVMH). “You have to believe, keep moving ahead, and put your heart into it. If you are willing to give your all, the world is yours.”
Through this new partnership, TAG Heuer once again puts itself at the very heart of motor racing history. Many champions have worn the brand’s colors all the way to the top. Very few have done so with true Hollywood panache. Dempsey Racing and TAG Heuer represent an exciting new expression of sporting passion and glamour.
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