john player special (JPS) is an iconic brand that has left a significant mark in the world of motorsports. The brand’s black and gold livery has become synonymous with speed, performance, and excellence, and its partnership with the Lotus F1 team has produced some of the most memorable moments in the history of Formula 1. This article explores the history of John Player Special, its impact on the tobacco industry, its controversies, and its enduring legacy.
The Birth of John Player Special
The history of John Player Special is intertwined with the history of John Player & Sons, a British tobacco company founded in 1877. In the 1960s, the company decided to launch a new brand of cigarettes called “Player’s Gold Leaf,” which featured a black and gold packaging. This packaging was so successful that the company decided to create a new brand of cigarettes called “John Player Special” (JPS) in 1970.
The JPS brand quickly became popular, and the company decided to expand it beyond cigarettes. The first non-tobacco product to feature the JPS branding was an aftershave, followed by other products such as clothing, lighters, and even a JPS-branded motorcycle. However, it was in the world of motorsports that JPS would leave its most significant mark.
John Player Special in Motorsports
JPS’s partnership with the Lotus F1 team is one of the most successful collaborations in the history of motorsports. The collaboration began in 1972, and the team’s cars were adorned with the iconic black and gold livery of John Player Special. The combination of the striking livery and the team’s success on the track made JPS one of the most recognizable brands in motorsports.
The Lotus F1 team achieved significant success during its partnership with JPS, winning two Formula 1 World Championships in 1972 and 1973. The team also won the Indianapolis 500 in 1978 and 1987, and the British Touring Car Championship in 1980. The JPS branding was not limited to Formula 1, as the brand also sponsored teams in other motorsport events such as the World Rally Championship and the Isle of Man TT.
The John Player Special Legacy
The impact of JPS on the tobacco industry and advertising is undeniable. The JPS branding was so successful that it became a cultural phenomenon, and the black and gold livery is still recognized as one of the most iconic in the history of motorsports. However, the brand’s success was also marred by controversies surrounding tobacco advertising.
As the dangers of smoking became more widely known, tobacco advertising came under increasing scrutiny, and regulations were put in place to restrict tobacco advertising in motorsports. The JPS branding was eventually phased out in the 1990s, and the Lotus F1 team was rebranded as “Team Lotus” in 1994.
Despite the controversies surrounding tobacco advertising, the JPS brand remains popular among motorsports fans. JPS-branded merchandise is highly collectible, and the black and gold livery is still used in various motorsport events as a tribute to the brand’s enduring legacy.
Controversies Surrounding John Player Special
Despite its success, John Player Special has faced controversy throughout its history. One of the most significant controversies is related to tobacco advertising. In the 1970s and 1980s, there was a growing concern about the health risks associated with smoking, and many countries started to ban tobacco advertising. Critics of JPS argued that the brand’s association with smoking was unethical, and its presence in motorsports was promoting a harmful product.
JPS also faced legal battles and challenges to branding regulations. In 1997, the European Union introduced a ban on tobacco advertising, which included motorsports. This ban forced JPS to withdraw its sponsorship of the Lotus F1 team. However, the ban was challenged, and in 2001, the European Court of Justice ruled that the ban was invalid. JPS resumed its sponsorship of the Lotus F1 team, but the controversy surrounding tobacco advertising continued.
In conclusion, John Player Special is an iconic brand that has left an indelible mark in the world of motorsports. Its black and gold livery has become synonymous with speed, performance, and excellence, and its partnership with the Lotus F1 team has produced some of the most memorable moments in the history of Formula 1. Despite facing controversies related to tobacco advertising and branding regulations, JPS has managed to maintain its popularity among motorsports fans.
Looking ahead, JPS faces new challenges as the world of motorsports evolves. With the rise of electric and hybrid vehicles, the sound and speed of traditional gasoline-powered engines may become less relevant. JPS may need to adapt its branding to stay relevant in this new era of motorsports. However, one thing is certain – the legacy of John Player Special will continue to inspire and captivate motorsports fans for years to come.