Vodafone is ending its sponsorship of the McLaren Formula One team, as it moves away from sports sponsorship.
The operator said it will focus on digital promotions and live events in the months ahead, which has led to rumours Vodafone will move into music like its rival O2. The McLaren deal is estimated to be worth $75 million per year and Vodafone's exit will end almost 10 years of partnering with racing. During this time, it has also ended partnerships with the England cricket team, Manchester United, Ferrari and the Champions League.
Morten Lundal, Vodafone Group chief commercial officer, said: 'We have been very happy with our engagement with McLaren. Our relationship has been a key ingredient in bringing the Vodafone brand to where it is today. However, our brand is evolving, and we've concluded we will have less of a need for this kind of exposure in future. We now look forward to further success and brand engagement with McLaren in 2013.'
He added: 'We now want to focus on our own marketing engagement platform to showcase the key attributes of our brand directly to our customers, using digital interactions and live events in ways that are both locally relevant and globally consistent.'
Author: Graeme Neill