Tata Communications, a long-time partner of Formula 1, has officially ended its association with the sport after eight years.
Forbes reported that the telecommunications company had been paying a fee which rose to an estimated annual figure of around $4million and a total figure of $26m after first entering a partnership in 2012.
“We have decided to bring to a close our marketing partnership with F1 and explore other platforms that will allow us to showcase the full power of our digital services to our key customers,” a spokesperson for Tata Communications said.
“We started this partnership in 2012 with the mission to digitally transform the sport whilst raising awareness of our global networking expertise amongst our enterprise customers. Our eight-year F1 journey, spanning 150+ races, was all about driving innovation in the sport.
“Over the years, we have evolved our services portfolio and capabilities, and – as we had achieved what we set out to do – we feel it’s the right time for us to conclude this marketing partnership.”
Tata Communications were also minor sponsors of both Mercedes and Williams, but those deals have also come to an end. Tata did state, though, they would continue with some of the relationships made in Formula 1.
The spokesperson continued: “We’re proud of the fact that for eight years, we played a central role in the digital transformation of F1 and its entire ecosystem: enabling the organisation that runs the sport, Formula 1, to innovate; helping the reigning world champions Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport to win; and working with 20+ broadcasters to bring the action to millions of fans worldwide.
“Our work in F1 also paved the way for new customer relationships with leading broadcasters like Sky and Star Sports – to which we remain committed. It was a joy and privilege being part of the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet.
“While our marketing partnership concluded on 31st December 2019, we continue working with many of our F1 customers and partners behind the scenes for now.”
Interestingly, Tata Communications has chosen not to end a similar deal it has in place with MotoGP.
The departure of Tata Communications means Formula 1 has now lost three major sponsors in the last three years. Insurance company Allianz and investment bank UBS were the other major companies to sever ties.