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Subaru World Rally Team 1993 Legacy RS in 555 livery

State Express 555 is a brand of cigarette manufactured by British American Tobacco. It was first launched in 1895 and is a very popular brand in Asia, especially China where it is BAT's most popular brand.

Sponsorship

555 is perhaps best known for its sponsorship of motorsports. 555 World Racing logos were seen on Subaru World Rally Championship cars from 1993 to 2004.[1] ( the actual 555 brand placement became less frequent into the 2000s, until it was dropped altogether for 2005). Subaru continued to use 555's blue and yellow colour scheme as its WRC livery until its withdrawal, but with the manufacturer's own logos in place of the 555 brand.[1]

British American Racing in 1999 originally wanted to brand Ricardo Zonta's car in the blue & yellow livery of 555 World Racing, whilst branding Jacques Villenueve's car with Lucky Strike colours. However, the move was blocked by the FIA, and they were forced to run two similar liveries. They opted to have the Lucky Strike brand on the left of the car and 555 World Racing on the right, with a zip going along the middle of the nose. It was highly unpopular, and so for 2000, they chose to just display mostly Lucky Strike logos, with small 555 World Racing logos on the side and nose. Some years between 2000 and 2006 (After Honda had bought out BAR, and were under pressure to drop tobacco sponsorship under new EU legislation), they prominently displayed the 555 World Racing brand at the Chinese and Japanese Grands Prix, where the 555 brand is better known. However, from 2007 until their withdrawal at the end of 2008, Honda adopted a livery with no sponsorship logos at all, but a livery depicted Earth to raise environmental awareness.

In 1996 Star Trek: The Next Generation on Myanmar tv was sponsored by 555.

References

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