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Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Make the most of Now" Vodafone end McLaren tie-in

McLaren always do these things in an understated way, don't they? No fuss, just down to business.

Their Press Release was entitled "Partnership announcement" and simply stated that
Vodafone and McLaren have today confirmed that their very successful seven-year title partnership will conclude at the end of the 2013 season
Then the obligatory reprise on the "highly successful" last seven years before landing the sucker punch:
While the current title partnership is in place with Vodafone, McLaren will not disclose its new title partnership, but will make an exciting announcement on 2nd December 2013, following the last Grand Prix of the season
The intimation being that they have already lined up the new title partner. Without bothering to get specific, I think we all know who that might be.

The further intimation in the Press Release is that McLaren and Vodafone parted ways because the new deal would be substantially more than the current one and Vodafone just weren't in the ballpark when it came to the numbers.

There is one potential problem, the spanner/pliers under the brake pedal (if you'll allow me to reference Johnny Herbert's 1998 Italian GP retirement experience).  If the new title partner is who we all think it might be then it's likely that the deal will be predicated upon a certain driver remaining at McLaren.  If that driver fails to deliver McLaren performances...

The McLaren Press Release takes pains to point out that Vodafone is McLaren's fourth title partner in 50 years; invoking images of longevity, trustworthiness, strong working relationships.  While I'm pretty hopeful that the particular driver referenced herein will turn out to be a "find", the fact is that, should we all be wrong the deal may go sour before the December deadline.