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Red Bull Make A Move On The WRC

Red Bull Make A Move On The WRC

There is a conflict of opinion as to whether sponsorship in sport is a good or bad thing. Some say it has ruined many of the popular sporting activities; football, for example, where players pay and sponsorship deals make a mockery of the average wage packet. On the other hand many sports would have died a death had it not been for business investing money to promote products. Look at how the funding acquired from cigarette advertising enhanced the various F1 teams a few years ago. Certainly, F1 would not be where it is today were it not for the power of commercial cash.

So it is with the World Rally Championship. This year, with the failure of its principal sponsor, North One Sport, very early on in the season and much indecision by the FIA, the races have been promoted individually at a local level meaning coverage has been patchy. Most fans in the UK would not have seen it at all if it hadn’t been for the efforts of Motors TV showing regular highlights.

As a result, WRC teams who spend a fortune on R&D – which does filter down to consumer cars – were at one point considering their future in the sport. Without media coverage advertisers would stay away in droves and look for more appealing marketing opportunities. So it is welcome news that after much prevaricating, it looks very much as if Red Bull are going to step up to the plate and become the WRC’s prime sponsor which should in turn bring the media on board.

If it comes to pass then this is a fantastic coup. It’s a well known fact that when this company puts their efforts into a promotion, it usually succeeds. They already have the most successful F1 team and are also one of the principal sponsors of the all-conquering Citroen Total World Rally Team who, despite the best efforts of Ford, are almost certain to win the championship again this year.

Presumably Red Bull would not continue to sponsor individual teams if this becomes a reality. It may be that Citroen will have to spread the net to bring in more money next year. One thing is for sure though; Red Bull would not sit quietly by as the events in 2013 unfold. They will want to ensure that they get maximum coverage across all the media platforms. This hopefully will be good news for fans, especially in Britain, who are starved of their ration of one of the most exciting branches of motor sport.

Meanwhile, as the championship progresses, the other drivers are probably all hoping that the legendary and unbeatable Sebastian Loeb will finally retire next year to give the others a chance. It seems likely, now that Citroen have recruited Mikko Hirvonen as their number two driver. Hirvonen is not the type to sit in the shadow of another so presumably the idea is that he will be numero uno on the team when Loeb moves on. Let us hope that next season sees a revival in the fortunes of the WRC and that the fans get the coverage they deserve.

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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2 Responses to “Red Bull Make A Move On The WRC”

  1. Duncan says:

    I was wondering whey there was no WRC on tv this year, I was lucky enough to watch one of the red bull air race a few years back and it was a really well planned and executed event. I am sure they will have a similar impact with the WRC not only bring the necessary cash needed to run the event but they will help to bring a whole new generation of fans.

    Great News for WRC

    • Geoff says:

      Thanks for the message Duncan.
      Because North One Sport failed at the start of this year TV coverage has been down to the local organisers for each event. It looks almost certain that RB have signed up but with the WRC and FIA you never know until the pen is on the paper. Motors TV have been showing half hour highlights (good commentary) but it’s not enough.
      Red Bull will require max coverage for their money so expect better TV and hopefully on a free to air channel and not the edxpensive pay channels!

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