Join CrackBerry in Cheering on Team BlackBerry (Mercedes) at the Canadian Grand Prix!

By Kevin Michaluk on 14 May 2014 01:30 pm EDT

BlackBerry's former Chief Marketing Officer, Frank Boulben, inked a sponsorship deal last year with the Mercedes Formula 1 team. The deal is for three years, and while Mercedes did OK in 2013, the 2014 season is off to an AMAZING start. A lot of rules changed for 2014, and Mercedes clearly nailed the design of their new car. Five races into it, Mercedes has won EVERY SINGLE RACE. They're kicking so much ass I almost feel bad for the other teams.

For an F1 sponsor such as BlackBerry, it's really shaping up to be the DREAM SEASON. The BlackBerry logo is appearing on the podium race after race, and the cars are getting more than their fair share of screen time. As far as traditional premium brand sponsorship campaigns go, you can't really beat Mercedes' performance this year. Unfortunately, this year it doesn't appear that BlackBerry is doing much above and beyond their base sponsorship to further engage the F1 crowd. Last year the website featured a racing section (now a dead link), and at some of the venues BlackBerry ramped up on their consumer engagement activities... I attended last year's Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, and BlackBerry 10 van was out in full force alongside an awesome F1 street installation that drew in crowds of people.

Join the CrackBerry Team in Montreal!

The Canadian Grand Prix is coming up again the weekend of June 6th, 7th and 8th. And since it doesn't sound like BlackBerry will be hosting any street events the way they did last year, we're going to make sure CrackBerry is there in full force to spread the BlackBerry love around Montreal.

Adam Zeis, James Falconer and myself booked our race tickets yesterday, and in true CrackBerry fashion we're getting some custom shirts made up for the weekend as well as a HUGE banner that we'll hold up during the race. If you haven't booked yet and are planning on attending, for Sunday's race we'll be sitting in the "Populaire" grand stand.

CRACKBERRY MEETUP: If enough of us are in town, we'll also try and orchestrate a CrackBerry MeetUp on the Friday or Saturday night. It'll be informal, but it'll be an awesome good time as CrackBerry Meetups always are. We'll get some extra t-shirts made up too, so if you make it to the meet-up we'll hook you up. If you're going to be in Montreal for F1 and want to attend, shoot an email to and let us know - we'll follow up with you directly with more details as the Grand Prix weekend approaches.

If you're an F1 and BlackBerry fan and will be in Montreal that weekend, I hope to see you!! And if you have any ideas for clever t-shirt slogans or ideas of what to put on the race banner, let us know in the comments!

Reader comments

Join CrackBerry in Cheering on Team BlackBerry (Mercedes) at the Canadian Grand Prix!


I'm soooo jealous, i'd love to go. And BlackBerry should continue the sponsorship when the contract comes up. It's great exposure.

Apple, The New Evil Empire

I agree, Mercedes is the brand with the image BlackBerry wants to be associated with. This is one example of when First is what most of us want to see!

I look forward to seeing BlackBerry on the winning cars for years to come.

One stroke of luck for Frank Boulben, likely he couldn't see 2014, but yes, it's the right brand association with Mercedes.

I just wish the BlackBerry lettering on the car was a bit larger, and well.... BOLDER

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Does anyone know if BlackBerry gets anything else out if this relationship? Aside from just exposure. I mean I know the teams makes millions off winning each race, does Blackberry get any return from those winnings for giving Mercedes money?

Posted via CB10

Why the hell would Mercedes give BlackBerry any financial reward for there winning races, BlackBerry paid Mercedes F1 to sponsor, not the other way round.

Posted via CB10

LOL. Apparently @fractured_faith knows nothing about race sponsorship. It's too bad (...or is it good?) that in F1 the drivers don't have to constantly say the sponsor name in every interview like they do in NASCAR.

They just have wear those Pirelli ball caps for a few minutes. I wonder how much Pirelli pays that guy to go to every race and hand out hats.

Posted via CB10

I'm a Montrealer and my wife's company WAS giving us VIP tickets to go but they've decided to sell all of their tickets now but I may still attend the race. I should have confirmation in the next week and would love to meet up with the Crackberry nation. Stay tuned!

Wish I could be there! Even with the muted sounds of the cars this year, what's better than winning? I will be watching and cheering from Winnipeg! #PoweredByBlackberry

Via CB10 Z30STA100-5/

Slogan = Mercedes + BlackBerry = 1 Cracking Formula ;)

If it's too long you can use logos for Mercedes + BlackBerry

Check Out [URL="bbmc: C0008DDD1"]TechCraze[/URL]

Yea. Burn up BlackBerry's cash. Faster! Faster! Faster!

Using a BlackBerry Z10! The "UnDroid"!

Kind of a stupid comment. The 3 year deal is inked. They're not really spending above and beyond that commitment this year, and I'm not suggesting that they do.

I'm saying that in lieu of that additional spend, we're going to up the presence CrackBerry style.

Kevin, trsbbs has been a debby downer since the Playbook. He loves BlackBerry but hates everything they have done and haven't done since the PB failure.

Right on that one. Quicksilver.

Anyway, we need those fellas, too, to keep the discussion alive. :-) As long as it stays civil....

(No, I won't get you started on your "favourite" segment of CB (ab)users now... )

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

If i wasn't standing in as the best man at my best friends wedding on June 7th, I'd be there. The drive from Toronto to Montreal is rather short.

Have fun

Wish I can agree with you on everything, but camera keeps on showing 5 to 10 place cars. Instead of showing the first and second place. They choice not to. Watch the next couple of races and see how much air time they get.

Posted via CB10

They show the battles more... when Lewis and Nico have been head to head, they've been playing that too.

Maybe they have to slow down a bit :)

Last race - Spain, there was a lot of focus up front. Especially when those BlackBerry adorned Silver Arrows lapped one of the Ferrari and ALMOST lapped the other! Talk about some screen time, let alone PODIUM time!

Talk in ALL of the F1 world is Merc dominance, screen looks especially nice when it shows the Mercedes duo out-qualifying, out-pacing and OUT-RACING those cars with the clipped "wings" - the Red Bulls.

Yup.. it's all about the head to head battle to get screen time.
But it's all worth it when you see the champions with BlackBerry logo adorned their suit in a newspaper. Advertising for the winners. That sticks.

Posted via Astro on Z30STA100-2/

I think Mercedes realized that. I'm not sure if you were catching the NBC Sports coverage, but there was a lot of drama going in to the last pitstop. Lewis even asked his crew afterward "So why did you bring me in for?" The answer was a vague "executing on strategy".

Anyway, I personally feel the close finish in Spain was carefully orchestrated as a marketing stunt. They're kinda forced to do that to get the exposure.

Posted via CB10 | Q10 on T-Mobile (USA)

I've just come back after attending the Spanish Grand Prix and there was no BlackBerry presence there at all, good to see Lewis and Nico get a 1, 2 though, go team Mercedes and BlackBerry!

Posted via CB10

Good grief...tell me about it!!! Blackberry is on the top step every single time this year and Chen refuses to capitalize?? I remember in one interview early this year he even went so far as to seem to want nothing to do with the deal!

Posted via CB10 | Q10 on T-Mobile (USA)

Chen isn't the one who signed the sponsorship agreement. If Chen tries to capitalize on the race team's success people and the blogs out there will probably be thinking "Why is Chen spending money BlackBerry doesn't have to be a sponsor in F1?", even though he didn't ink the deal himself. I think the exposure is a great thing and Chen should capitalize on it. Use promotional pics of Hamilton and Rosberg up on the podiums and the cars with the BlackBerry logo.

Lots of stupid people on here living in the past. Cannot get over the PlayBook and the move to BB10 from BBOS.

These folks have other issues in their lives but it's easy to bitch and whine about BlackBerry than move on!

Anyway. Go Mercedes GP and BlackBerry just love seeing them one and two on the podium. Awesome marketing!!

Posted with my gorgeous Z30

Very good statement it's not as though other platforms have not had massive failures read the links, btw Love that BlackBerry continues for the moment to have a presence there at F1. This is the market that they need to cater to eventually it will again stick.

Posted via CB10

Kevin you should be CMO! How poorly marketed is this sponsorship ! I understand races are on Sunday but a simple tweet from @BlackBerry for pole and win is so hard to do? We are not asking for an AMG special edition...yet. Even if, would we have to wait 2018?

Posted via CB10

Did someone say AMG special edition ? If they win the double championship (driver and constructor) that MUST be done !

Posted via CB10

Oh yes I said it. I wouldn't understand the contrary. But when you look at how polished this F1 team is in terms of design. I hope they will handle it! I mean if they are going to produce an AMG handset, it should not be a simple back panel.

They have their own design team...with German quality...can't go wrong.

Posted via CB10

Forgot to say, this sponsorship is brillant ! It's for 1-2 in a row, and 5 wins to date, this is just yet...a world record. The sad part is no momentum is built around. Fortunately Crackberry will handle this and finally, it's maybe better like this.

Posted via CB10

Agreed. They should focus on this momentum and create brand awareness at all the circuits.
Even if it was just a few BlackBerry vans at the entrance of the circuits.

Posted via Astro on Z30STA100-2/

I am a huge F1 fan and have been a LH fan since he was at McClaren. Mercedes AMG Petronas is literally lapping the field this year thus far. It has been very enjoyable.

It would be quite refreshing and welcome to see BlackBerry strike while the iron is hot and capitalize on the current Mercedes hot streak! The Canadian GP is the 2nd best place to do that right now. Monaco (next weekend) cannot be competed against in terms of glitz and exposure. If you look at the team's headsets and boom microphones they display the current BlackBerry logo and that is tres cool.

Posted via CB10

Was at the Spanish grand prix last weekend, the blackberry livery looks awesome on the silver arrows!

Posted via CB10

Well done Mr Hamilton and Mr Rosberg .

A belated respect to Mr Boulben for the deal.

It's great that the BlackBerry 10 van was in force .

Now answer me this Kevin?

BlackBerry can put a '10' on a van but not on their devices.

Where is the '10' in BlackBerry 10?

It's not on the devices or in the start up sequence. This is supposed to be a brand new operating system.

There is no time to waste.

BlackBerry symbol to the power of 10 ©

BlackBerry.. Get it done!!!

Posted via CB10

Well as much as i love BlackBerry and happy for the Mercedes Deal, i will always remain a Ferrari fan.
Waiting for the canadian grand prix !!

good luck at least staying on the lead lap with both of your cars this time around.


Wow that sounds amazing, that time last year my wife brought me to Canada for my birthday. Man I hope she does it again.

Posted via CB10

I was working for blackberry last year at the Blackberry booth on Peel & Sheerbroke. Got to meet Kevin.. What an amazing experience.

I'd like to see some marketing in the US. I think the last blackberry commercial was from Verizon pushing the Z10 early last year. It's been so long, I don't remember.

Posted via CB10

Wish I could be there, but the wife and I are moving the weekend! boo! I'll just have to watch for the sea of CrackBerry orange in the stands ;)

I like it...

How about...

"Keep Moving" Ahead of the Field
BlackBerry + Mercedes F1

Murray Squire Marr

BlackBerry 10 + Mercedes F1
No Pit Stops...No Speed Limits
On a Highway to Gilles

Murray Squire Marr

With a diagram of The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and a Canadian/en Flag in the background/scene.

Murray Squire Marr

And some Fleur-de-lis and a Quebec Flag in the design as well...shouldn't forget the provincial host.

Murray Squire Marr

Very disappointed in blackberry's involvement this year. They have the best team and they are barely visible minus a sticker on the side of the car and race suit. Again wasting a great opportunity.

Still rockin my PlayBook and a Z30

Unfortunately I can't be there but I'd just LOVE ONE OF THOSE SHIRTS!...If there happens to be an extra one just lying around after the race. Xtra Large Please. Send it on over to the address you have on file for me as a Trusted Member... ;)

Trusted Member Genius

Another waste of money by Frank B...Just like Alicia Keys...Most of the BlackBerry users especially in emerging markets don't care about Grand Prix ...This money should be redirected to Z3 launches in Indonesia, and Latin America.

Posted via CB10

Obviously you haven't been to Latin America, F1 is very popular there, BlackBerry will have lots of exposure however I do agree that they need launches there as well.

Posted via CB10

My hometown is a great place to party....hardy. that's especially true for the Grand Prix weekend. Would love to be there.

Posted via CB10

They don't need more exposure on the cars, rather more creativity to sell hand sets with the sponsorship. They may be doing behind the scenes B2B schmoozing at the tracks, but totally missing out on consumer activation. Basing the success of the sponsorship solely on how many impressions, not on how many units it sells, will only end in tears.

I am pretty sure John Chen would not have made such a wasteful deal...As a shareholder I think it's a complete waste of money...Good for handful of BlackBerry Grand Prix fans.

Posted via CB10

Kevin! Any chance I'll see you guys again this year at McKibbin's Irish Pub on St Laurent Boulevard? Last year with you, Vivek and Co. was awesome! I'll be working the whole weekend, so if you guys show up, first round is on me!

Posted via CB10

Haha! Awesome. I was thinking about you. Yeah, we'll have to make a point to drop by McKibbin's. Glad you left the comment and reminded me of the name. Was a little under the influence when I stumbled into there last year.

Happy to host the CrackBerry event here if you guys are so inclined ! Give me a heads-up, and I'll make sure you guys are treated well !

Posted via CB10

On the track, or in the palm of your and technology that's world class.........BlackBerry

Posted via CB10

Only got general admission tickets this year. You should've told me earlier. The price for the tickets are not much different.

Posted via CB10

The BlackBerry logo should be changed to BlackBerry 10 and this is for obvious reasons it will bring about curiosity on this new amazing platform

Posted via CB10

A few of us will take the drive from NYC up i-87 to check out the should be tons of fun! And boy do I love some Montreal! Definitely hoping to see Crack berry there!

Posted via CB10

A few more slogans...that might be a hit:

No Hype---Just Swipe
BlackBerry 10 & Mercedes F1
Professional Fast

BlackBerry 10 & Mercedes F1
Technology Speedmachers

BlackBerry 10 + Mercedes F1
No Slow...ALL Geaux

Murray Squire Marr

I will be in Montreal for the Grand Prix, looking forward to meeting up with the Crackberry team. How do I get my hands on one of those shirts?

Posted via CB10

I've been following this F1 season and is very exciting watch the chivalry between Hamilton and Nico Rosbergn fighting for that 1st place. Bahrain was one of the most epic race I ever seen so far. This season feels like Hunt vs Lauda, the only difference is that they were in different teams. F1 FTW must watch this season. AMG epic cars.

Posted via CB10

From wayyyyyy out here in the Caribbean never been to a Gran Prix in my life but always look at it on TV, from the company that started it off "Blackberry" in one of the biggest racing events in the world hmmmm give me one reason why we can't be number one waiting, waiting waiting, lol #Blackberry4life

Posted via CB10

Oh, the new winner of this F1 season! They are mercedes team and Blackberry! Blackberry comes back to the top and I love it from bottom of my heart! (Doctor from Vietnam).