Unilever is looking to rev up sales of its SureMen brand by launching an antiperspirant range with the Lotus F1 team.

The debut of the new products marks the start of the personal care giant’s three-year global sponsorship deal with Lotus F1.

Rolling out now in 250ml and 150ml aerosol formats (rsp: £3.56 and £2.61), roll-on (rsp: £1.77) and a stick variant (rsp: £2.85), the products feature the official Lotus F1 logo on pack. Unilever said the range had been designed to deliver antiperspirant protection for 48 hours, even in “high adrenaline situations”.

Motor sport was a key but untapped passion for the brand’s core audience of 25 to 35-year-old lads, said UK and Ireland brand manager Paul O’Connor.

The launch was being supported by a £4m push that kicks off next week with an on-pack promotion giving consumers the chance to win a trip with three friends to the South of France to drive the Lotus F1 team car. It will be supported with television, outdoor, digital and experiential activity from May.

O’Connor predicted the special edition would help the SureMen brand achieve double-digit sales growth. In the past 12 months, sales have grown 1.2% year-on-year to £55m [SymphonyIRI 52w/e 19 January 2013].

Brand agency The Value Engineers said the launch could revitalise the bland deodorants fixture, which had been suffering from “one-dimensional claims of oneupmanship”, according to MD Richard Oldham.

“The Lotus F1 tie up is a simple but effective way to bring a new language of protection - away from the 24, 48, 72-hour claims - to a category that lacks differentiation,” he said.

In January, Unilever launched a £12.6m marketing push for its Lynx deodorant brand that will culminate with a consumer being sent into space.