As the WRC forges on without its former promoter North One Sport it probably hoped a lucrative deal with Nokia could help to partly fill the void. Originally touted as a “ground-breaking new partnership” when the deal was announced in June last year—with promises of an exclusive mobile application, providing access to video footage, live standings and car telemetry data—Nokia has now withdrawn its support.
It’s understood the sponsorship was worth £2.5m per year to the sport and WRC Commission President Jarmo Mahonen says the news is a blow to the category.
“This is quite a big loss to the championship. We didn’t see it as just money coming in, Nokia was going to be a partner. It was a very good platform,” Mahonen said.
Nokia has been struggling itself with high hopes for its new Lumia 900 smartphone not exactly going to plan, when “a memory management issue was discovered that could, in some cases, lead to loss of data connectivity.”
In better news for WRC it’s expected they will announce a deal with a new promoter when the World Motorsport Council next meets on 15 June.