McLaren Title Sponsor Vodafone Cuts 500 Jobs

McLaren Mercedes' title sponsor Vodafone has announced the layoffs of about 500 jobs, following the economic downturn that affected the company's profits in recent months. As reported by GMM news agency, an official statement from the telecommunications giants confirmed the measure as being directly connected to the financial crisis.

It is also mentioned that the job cuts are meant to reduce production costs in 2009. However, the company did not announce any further personnel cuts in the upcoming months. Also, Vodafone did not mention whether the reduction in costs for 2009 will also include their Formula 1 sponsorship of team McLaren.

According to the aforementioned source, the 500 people that will be looking for a job in the near future represent approximately 5 percent of Vodafone's workforce in the United Kingdom.

This is not by far the only bad news coming from F1 sponsors or investors lately. Starting January 1st, some of the sport's most important brands have announced backing out of their F1 commitments ahead of the 2009 season. Credit Suisse did not renew their deal with BMW Sauber for the new year, while Dutch banking giant ING Group have announced their official withdrawal from the Great Circle after the end of the 2009 season.

ING have also announced cutbacks of around 40 percent in sponsorship money for Renault F1 for 2009.

Williams F1 were also on the verge of losing one of their main sponsors in the offseason – the Royal Bank of Scotland – due to the detrimental effects of the economic crisis. Nevertheless, RBS remained committed to their F1 sponsorship, at least through 2009.
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