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Sponsorship: Sport relief

The world’s top banks have little to celebrate at the moment. But a silver lining might come in the form of sports teams or individuals sponsored by banks racking up successes.

Sitting pretty at the moment is Santander, which sponsors the Ferrari Formula 1 team. Top driver Fernando Alonso is the clear leader of the world championship at the halfway stage.

Added to that, Santander scored an enormous marketing coup with its virtual plans for a grand prix on the streets of central London. Bank insiders say they were amazed at the coverage the plans generated, especially as such a race is unlikely ever to happen. "You’d have to remove and put back all the traffic control systems, which would be a huge task. But worse than that, the noise of the Formula 1 cars would probably shatter the windows in many of the buildings overlooking the course," one told Euromoney.

The Wimbledon tennis final saw Roger Federer give some much-needed pleasure to the bank that sponsors him, the capital-raise flip-flopping Credit Suisse. But his victory wiped the smile from the face of a bank that needs good news more than most: RBS, which sponsors runner-up Andy Murray.

At the Open golf championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes, there was a surprise winner. Ernie Els came from six shots back in the final round to win the tournament at the death from Adam Scott.

During his speech on the 18th green, he told the crowds he could not wait to go and see his family in London that night. "I was meant to be going to Canada tonight – I think I might blow that one off," he said to the amusement of the spectators.

Let’s hope Ernie’s late arrival didn’t diminish the pleasure of his victory for his sponsors then – a certain Royal Bank of Canada.