Vodafone’s £50 million-a-year title sponsorship of the McLaren team will not be renewed at the end of the 2013 season, both parties have today confirmed.
The news is hardly a great surprise – we predicted this almost a year ago – and is one of several moves the flagging telecommunications giant has taken as it seeks to review its global marketing strategy.
Vodafone has been part of the McLaren team since 2007 when Lewis Hamilton made his Grand Prix debut with the squad. During this time, the team claimed 34 race victories and the 2008 Drivers’ World Championship title.
“We’re immensely proud that, having been set a number of ambitious challenges by Vodafone back in 2007, together we’ve met or exceeded each and every one,” McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said today.
“Our focus is on continuing to drive results for all our partners throughout the 2013 season and we look forward to making a major title partnership announcement towards the end of the year.”
McLaren will announce details of its new title sponsor on December 2, following the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.
Given the advanced notice of this date, it is clear that the Woking squad already has a new partner sewed for 2014 and beyond.
Many have therefore suggested that the Vodafone stickers will be replaced with those of another telco, Telmex, which is a major personal backer of the team’s new sign-up, Sergio Pérez.