McLaren title sponsor Vodafone could be set to embark on further cutbacks to its sport’s sponsorship program, including its longstanding deal with the World Championship-winning Formula 1 team.
A report in today’s Financial Times, the telco giant is “reviewing its global sports and events sponsorships”, quoting a source close to its sponsorship arm who said that its multi-million-dollar deal – which ends in 2013 – “needs to be evaluated” given the current economic climate.
The latest speculation comes in the wake of the recent news that Vodafone Australia was pulling the pin on its title sponsorship of its eponymous team in the V8 Supercars Championship, run by the famous Triple 8 Engineering stable.
“The race is still one of a few major events to be popular with a global audience, which means that a sponsorship can work on a number of levels in different regions and is therefore attractive for brands such as Vodafone wanting to extend their global reach,” the report in the newspaper reads.
“However, the general sponsorship market has been affected by the global economic downturn, with some banking groups more reluctant to be seen spending money on events,” it adds.
Vodafone has been a major sponsor of the McLaren team since 2007, less than two years after the enforced departure of the big tobacco companies from sport sponsorship.