McLaren announced today that its title sponsorship deal with Vodafone has been extended to the end of the 2013 season.
It has been a successful relationship, crowned by Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 world championship. And as the statement from the team says, it shows “what a formidable global marketing tool the sport of Formula 1 remains.” I’m told that Ron Dennis was central to the renegotiation of the deal along with McLaren commercial director Ekrem Sami.
Vodafone has encouraged the public to “Make the most of Now” and “Chase the Dream” in mainstream campaigns which have also helped to spread awareness of F1, McLaren and Lewis Hamilton in particular.
As part of the deal, Vodafone will also take responsibility for all of McLaren’s communications services at races and in every day business. A key objective for Vodafone will be to use the McLaren relationship to bring its customers closer to the passion of F1.
Prior to joining McLaren in 2007, Vodafone had a hugely successful partnership with Ferrari during the Schumacher years, but moved on as the team’s title sponsorship deal with Marlboro didn’t give Vodafone scope for expansion.