BlackBerry Advertising Shows Up In Formula 1 at the Japanese Grand Prix

BlackBerry Advertising in Formula 1 Race
By Kevin Michaluk on 4 Oct 2009 10:21 am EDT
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You can correct me if I'm wrong in the comments, but I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever seen BlackBerry advertising show up at a Formula 1 Grand Prix... The season may be winding down with only two races left to go (Brazil, Abu Dhabi), but this weekend at the Suzuka race track for the Japanese Grand Prix the BlackBerry billboard was hung proudly in pit row, strategically placed right below the podium.

Formula 1 doesn't have that big of a following in North America (though there are definitely some hardcore fans there), but on a worldwide stage is the biggest racing series there is. Whether this is a one-off just to get some additional advertising exposure for BlackBerry in Japan or is the beginning of a larger F1 campaign, I'm not sure, but personally would love to see more of BlackBerry in the sport. Telecommunications carriers  are no strangers to F1 and BlackBerry has received some benefit from that before -- remember Lewis Hamilton driving his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 car remotely from a BlackBerry Storm -- but actual advertising or even sponsorship of a team would take it to the next level.

Hmm... now that's a good question... If RIM were to sponsor a Formula 1 team, which team should they sponsor? Ferrari (see this post)? Red Bull? McLaren? Brawn GP?? Toss your opinion in the comments!

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BlackBerry Advertising Shows Up In Formula 1 at the Japanese Grand Prix

14 Comments

On a related note. BlackBerry is sponsoring the FlashForward series that just started over here in the UK. Apart from some minimal and confusing U2 ads, this is the first time there has been much in the way of advertising here.

I was really surprised to see that too. I am a bigtime F1 fan and when I saw the billboard, I was like huh? I also believe that is a first for BB as I've never seen it before. As far as who they should sponsor, it's a no brainer, Ferrari. With Alonso going there next year, :D, it would be a perfect match to have BlackBerry sponsoring them.

Maybe this means we will also get an app???? :)

Jim Balsillie was shutout by the courts this week in his bid to buy the Phoenix Coyotes. So it could be an attempt by the BB owner to raise his profile in the sporting world so he will have more ammunition if he decides to persue another NHL team???

the advertising was actually replacing the brawn GP boards that normally go over each teams garages, however this could just be because their garage was under the podium, but dont forget brawn are after sponsors, and santandar now sponsoring ferrari from the next season could mean either brawn or vodafone mclaren (makes sense) would be the best choice for blackberry.

I am a diehard F1 fan and I can confirm this as the first sponsorship. This year has been weird for F1 sponsorship. Of course the global economic blah blahhas slowed some sponsors, but on top of that you had Virgin signing race to race deals with Brawn, the Satander sponsorship 'jumping to Ferrari' yet still to be on McLaren next year (maybe as their British Abbey bank). Renault lost two big sponsor due to the cheating revelation. And next year you will have 3 new teams, one of which is bankrolled by Google CEO. So maybe it makes sense to bring the brand in now test the waters and go for a team sponsorship before next year.
Next year Virgin is switching to full sponsorship of Manor, a new team, USF1 has the Google connection and the other new team is Lotus (owned by Malaysia) whose title sponsor will likely be Petrobas (Malaysian state oil company). RIM could jump in and make a real impact on the series. It could take title sponsorship of a team, or it could ump in as title sponsor of Montreal (my own personal hope being from Montreal) It would make sense for them to make an impression that counts. Too many times companies just ad a decal the the front wing, noone sees that so the 2-5 million they give for that really is only an opportunity for that companies CEO to visit the F1 paddock to feel glitz and glamour. Anyway I will make a few feelers out there and see what the buzz is.

I think you're right because I've been watching F1 for years and have never noticed any BB sponsoship anywhere. But I'd love to see it next year on the best looking car in the paddock...I'm talking about the McLaren, of course ;-)

F1 rocks, and it would be nice to see two black and silver cars next year with a huge "BlackBerry" logo painted onto the engine nacelle. :-D

As elph said up above, I did not know that Google locked-in a deal with USF1, but I'm really glad to hear that too.

Unfortunately, though, to gain any attention in racing in America, these companies need to have a sponsorship deal in Nas(cough...sucks)car. ;)

I am a huge fan of F1 and would say sponsor Brawn with the way they have performed in their first year. Go Blackberry.

By: butcherbird | Date: Sun, 10/04/2009 - 12:57 | reply
F1 rocks, and it would be nice to see two black and silver cars next year with a huge "BlackBerry" logo painted onto the engine nacelle. :-D

As elph said up above, I did not know that Google locked-in a deal with USF1, but I'm really glad to hear that too.

Unfortunately, though, to gain any attention in racing in America, these companies need to have a sponsorship deal in Nas(cough...sucks)car. ;)

i totally agree with every word that butcherbird said!

Watching the race today, I noticed the Blackberry banner too. If they sponsor a team, I think it'll be McLaren.

Yeah I noticed those Blackberry branding near the podium too!
Glad that you're also a fan coz to be fair, the organizers of the sport hasn't been quite fair to the North American audience.
No offense but, just how many F1fans are there in Abu Dhabi?
Why not have a couple of races a year in the US or Canada?
I just don't get it.

It was great to see the BlackBerry billboard on pit road. It'd be nice to see BB sponsor the new USF1 team that will join the series next year. Hope we'll see more from BlackBerry in F1 and other forms of motorsports.