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Kimi vs iLOQ

8 min read

A behind-the-scenes look into iLOQ’s cooperation with Kimi Räikkönen

We recently caught up with Kimi Räikkönen’s Affairs Manager, Sami Visa, and iLOQ’s Chief Marketing Officer, Joni Lampinen, to find out more about the cooperation that is putting iLOQ on the world map.

Sami –

Tell us a bit about your career to date. “I have been working for the sports and apparel business for a long while before I started working for Kimi.”

How long have you known Kimi? “I’ve known Kimi for more than 20 years. I first met him on a karting track in Finland, I think in the spring of 1996. A friend of mine knew Kimi and his brother Rami and introduced us because I needed some help setting up my kart.”

Can you tell us more about how you came to be his right-hand man? “I think, because of our long friendship, we have built up a fair amount of loyalty and trust. It’s important for Kimi to trust the people around him.”

Tell us more about your cooperation with Kimi. Do you have daily contact with him? “Yes, I have frequent contact with Kimi or his wife, Minttu. I don’t talk to him on a daily basis, but often enough to get things done and to find out his opinion on the issues I need answers to. We also communicate regularly by WhatsApp and text messages.

Is your relationship purely professional or do you also know Kimi on a more personal level? “As Kimi said in an interview, it is more on personal level. We are friends, but we never forget that we must handle our business in a professional way.”

Do you agree with Kimi on most matters? “Yes, I do. As Kimi once said when asked about his relationship with the Manager of Sauber – he’s my boss!”

How easy or difficult is Kimi to work with? “There is a lot of work; it’s almost a 24/7 job, but I enjoy very much working with Kimi and his family.”

How do you protect Kimi from the people who want to take advantage of him? “Kimi does not need any protection from me; but, of course, during our lives we have both learnt to trust our instincts and impressions.”

Why did Kimi choose to work with iLOQ? “First of all, as I am sure you have noticed, Kimi doesn’t do anything he doesn’t want to do. With iLOQ, we found a perfect match. Kimi could quickly see that the people that work at iLQO have drive, passion and a pioneering attitude. They don’t follow traditional rules but, like Kimi, are prepared to break new ground and shake things up a bit. He respects that attitude.”

How do you see that the cooperation with Kimi will help to boost the iLOQ brand? “‘To get the most out, you need to put the best in’. By saying this, I mean that the partnership between the most advanced locking system and the best-known Finn worldwide, is by far the strongest advantage for iLOQ when hitting the world market.”

How has the cooperation with iLOQ been working so far? “Perfectly, we are ‘talking the same language’ and understand each other well.”

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Joni –

When did you first meet Kimi? “I first met Kimi when he was driving for Lotus in about 2012 while working as the Marketing Director for another Finnish entrepreneurial company. We were introduced through mutual business partners.”

When did you meet Kimi again and did he remember your initial meeting? “I met Kimi again at the 2018 Singapore grand prix. I doubt he remembered our initial meeting – why would he?!”

How long did it take to convince Kimi to become part of the iLOQ team? “We started discussing with Sami the possibility of cooperating with Kimi in the late autumn of 2018. After that, Kimi did his homework and Googled all the possible information on iLOQ’s values, its products and its culture. It was our high level of technology and the team behind it that got Kimi excited about iLOQ. And quite soon after meeting with myself and Heikki Hiltunen, the CEO of iLOQ, he was convinced about the professionalism of the people behind the co-operation.

Out of all the companies that want to work with Kimi, he chose iLOQ. Tell us why? “As mentioned before, he was impressed with our company culture, our products and our people – how we have taken a giant leap forward in the locking industry and how we are focused on making life accessible for our customers. We are honoured by Kimi’s decision to partner with iLOQ and for this amazing opportunity to cooperate with such a sporting legend.”

How do you see that the cooperation with Kimi will help to boost the iLOQ brand? “We are a small company cooperating with one of the biggest sports personalities on the planet. The first advantage this brings is the visibility – the iLOQ logo is clearly seen on the sleeves of Kimi’s driving suit. Secondly, Kimi is a big part of iLOQ’s daily marketing communications. He strongly features in our content calendar and in our media and campaigns. Thirdly, with Kimi’s participation, we can offer unique customer and retail experiences. And, finally, working with Kimi gives us the chance to network a huge variety of companies, such as Alfa Romeo, Formula 1 and Kimi’s own contacts, to ensure that we get the most out of our investment.

iLOQ is entering new markets, segments and businesses outside Europe. We trust and believe that, with Kimi’s help and public persona, it will be easier for us to open new doors and unlock new possibilities. In short, Kimi will help to globalize the company. We respect each other sincerely, and we also want to have fun together. It’s a win-win situation.

Our cooperation with Kimi is still in its early stages. We look forward to following his success on the track and involving Kimi in our customer and stakeholder events to ensure that our goal of making life accessible reaches a worldwide audience. In the meantime, you can read more about the partnership between Kimi and iLOQ on the Key to success page on our website.

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