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Vodafone extend McLaren title partnership 21 Oct 2010

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 8 October 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 10 September 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 10 September 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 1 August 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren waves to the crowd.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday, 9 October 2010

Global telecommunications company Vodafone will continue as McLaren’s title sponsor until the end of 2013, the two parties announced on Thursday. Under the new agreement, Vodafone will additionally become the British team’s official total communications partner.

“Vodafone is an international brand with strong local roots,” said Morten Lundal, the Vodafone group’s chief commercial officer. “As such, Formula One is a strong platform from which we can engage our customers with unique experiences and events. We’ve had great success in using the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes partnership to engage our customers in our key markets, and we’re committed to new and exciting platforms which will allow customers to get even closer to the action.”

McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh added: “Vodafone is without doubt the best title partner that we at McLaren have ever had. Why do I say that? Well, the word ‘partner’ says it all. Vodafone is our partner in a very genuine sense of that word - a very real contributor to an ever-evolving series of high-tech innovations on our cars and within our operating systems.

“That’s why I know I speak on behalf of all at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes when I say how delighted I am that our two companies have agreed not only to renew our partnership but also to relaunch it. As a result, we’ll tirelessly develop our technological collaborations, at the same time as engaging Vodafone’s customers in some truly innovative ways.

“I like to think that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is the most inclusive team in the world’s most exclusive sport - and, with that ethos in mind, we’ll be unveiling some very exciting Vodafone McLaren Mercedes marketing initiatives in the near future.”

The partnership will continue in its aims to bring Vodafone customers closer to the passion of Formula One racing through its services, events and experiences, as well as helping support the team’s on-track success through greater technical integration of Vodafone’s communications services.

“The role of a Formula One driver is a much envied one, often considered very glamorous, and I can’t deny that that aspect exists,” said McLaren driver Jenson Button. “But driving for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes adds an extra dimension to the mix: this year, for the first time in my life, I’ve felt I’m doing a proper job.

“That proper job is all about teamwork, all about pulling together, all about communication - and the marketing I’ve done this year has been as important in that regard as has my collaboration with our engineers. Moreover, the time that Lewis and I have spent together working for our title partner has enabled us to develop a very warm friendship, and some of the initiatives we’ve collaborated on have been both enjoyable and ground-breaking.”

Button’s team mate, Lewis Hamilton, was equally effusive about the importance of the partnership, saying: “Every Grand Prix I’ve ever driven has been at the wheel of a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes car, and I’m thrilled that our partnership will continue into the future. Working with Vodafone has also enabled me to visit places that I’d never otherwise have been to, and see some truly amazing things. For example, I’ve been to India and South Africa with Vodafone on a number of occasions, and have always found my visits there to be hugely rewarding.

“Having said that, I’m a racing driver. That’s what I am. I often feel I was put on Earth to race. But I understand that Formula One is a business as well as a sport, and I’m proud of the work I’ve done with Vodafone over the past four years. Equally, however, Vodafone’s technical people are great to work with too, and I know we couldn’t have achieved the on-track successes we have without them.”

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