Vodafone drops MU and Ferrari

Vodafone seems to be looking hard at its better-known sponsorship deals. In November Vodafone terminated a £9m-a-year shirt sponsorship contract with Manchester United two years early; and itfinished the year by switching its F1 interests from Ferrari to McLaren Mercedes from the end of 2006. The F1 contract is reportedly worth about $40m a year.

Ferrari has just had its worst season for nine years, which is also looking like MU’s fate.

“We review our sponsorships all the time to make sure they are meeting our business needs and Ferrari is one of them,” said a spokesperson.

At least British football will continue to see Vodafone’s money – the company will be extending its sponsorship of the Champions League. From July 2006 Vodafone will become both an Official Partner and the Official Mobile Network of the UEFA Champions League. Among other things that enables it to build on Vodafone’s existing Champions League content on Vodafone live! with 3G.

Meanwhile Manchester United is reported to have no shortage of sponsorship suitors, especially among high-tech brands – those named regularly include LG, Google, IBM and Yahoo, with Coca-Cola and Levi Strauss also in the frame.

Thinking of companies in your industry sector, which one(s)
would you really like to work for?
1    Orange
2    Vodafone
3    Microsoft
3    BT
5    O2
6    Nokia
7    Apple
8    Sony Ericsson
9    Virgin
10    IBM
11    Samsung
11    Motorola
Source: Marketing Week and Michael Page, November 2005

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