Can BlackBerry Stay With The Winners?


Because BlackBerry has been a sponsor of the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula One racing team, I got into F1 and have become a fan. Not only is F1 great racing with all the technology and human drama of most great engineering endeavors, I enjoy seeing BlackBerry all over the TV and [usually] on the winner’s podiums. The picture above is from the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS BBM Channel C00011785. That is Toto Wolff, Executive Director of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. More importantly, he is wearing a BlackBerry branded headset.

As I understand it, the sponsorship contract between BlackBerry and Mercedes AMG PETRONAS expires at the end of the 2015 season. Speculation is a new contract will be too expensive for BlackBerry to continue. That gives you two more races to checkout the exciting F1 races with BlackBerry all over the cars and uniforms. This weekend is Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo and November 29 is the final race at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi. We don’t know if BlackBerry will be associated with F1 next year. I personally hope they are.


jrohland has never been able to figure out how to use Capital letters in his name. He can't write like e.e. cummings but he word rhymes sometimes.

  • BB Racer !!

    Oh Boy what a bad decision if BlackBerry does not renew the sponsorship. F1 is not huge in the USA but it is huge huge in Canada , Europe and the rest of the world…come on BlackBerry how can you not be affiliated with a winner……??

    • jrohland

      BB Racer. I really hope they do renew it. However, if Merc demands $300 million a year, BB can’t justify that. If the Priv does really well, maybe BB could afford it. I hope so.

  • Anthony

    Apparently BlackBerry’s Mercedes sponsorship is hugely expensive. Perhaps money better spent on BB10 OS development and devices.

    BlackBerry could sponsor other racing teams at a more grass-roots level and save a pile of cash. locco_smiley_27

    • jrohland

      Agree Anthony. In addition, at least for the 2015 season, positions 1 and 2 on the grid were totally dominated by Merc. The drama, and the TV cameras, probably spent more time on 3rd place. Which leads one to wonder if BlackBerry’s money could have been better spent? Although it is very nice to be plastered all over the winners.

      • Anthony

        It’s definitely good exposure for the BlackBerry brand but something like $300 million is ridiculous. $50 million plus free BlackBerry tech should be the max! Race results have become predictable, that’s an ‘issue’. locco_smiley_17

  • m3mb3rsh1p

    I really, really hope BlackBerry continues to “partner” with the Mercedes F1 team. With the Priv, they have an excellent opportunity to attract all the fans who seem to be predominantly using IPhone and Android devices.

    This is a great way to demonstrate how BlackBerry provides end-to-end solutions from consumers up to the industrial sector. Mercedes already uses BES and with the Good Acquisition as well as the Priv running Android, their EMM needs are pretty much covered regardless of which platform they choose.

    One would hope that the team will choose practice/function over money because F1 and the Mercedes crew are unique and exemplary in what they are able to achieve. Going with Apple/Samsung/Google/Microsoft would be an obvious “well, they are the most popular or have the deepest pockets” kind of move.

    Their current set of “partners” seem to have a practical relationship with the team (they aren’t just sponsors) and most of them have wealthier or equally wealthy competitors in their respective fields so maybe practice/prestige/legacy plays as important a role as finances.

    • jrohland

      Nicely said. I do hope the team wants to maintain a product and sponsorship relationship with BlackBerry. There seems to be some symbiosis there.

    • Martin

      I certainly agree!

  • BB Racer !!

    Their marketing spend has been zip sofar and European sponsor deals can be a barter negotiations combining cash , EMM / software services for the advertising on the car !! Nope BlackBerry has to be on the car !