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Mercedes has signed a sponsorship deal with telecommunications provider Research in Motion (RIM), the makers of Blackberry phones.
Once the must-have of the corporate world, the Blackberry has fallen from grace rather spectacularly as the world moved on to smartphones.
Blackberry users are now sneered at by execs with style who have long since moved on to iPhones or Android devices. Blackberry is so 2009.
The fact of the matter is Research in Motion is on its knees. The company is launching a new range of devices which many see as the its last throw of the dice. It has lost market share hand over fist in recent years as corporations and governments abandon what looks to be a very leaky ship. If its new range of devices fail, in all likelihood so too will the company.
The Mercedes deal will therefore be all about exposure; linking the company's new phones with the elite of motor sport. It gives RIM a link to cutting edge technology, the forefront of modern engineering with a prestige brand. It is a deal that has everything the Canadian company could want in a sponsorship deal.
But at the same time it is somewhat ironic. While RIM faces its own demons, staring failure down the barrel, Mercedes too is not bereft of confusion.There are management changes and seemingly more Directors and bosses than mechanics. Questions have been raised of the Brackley squad but few answers have been found. It has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on its Formula One project but has scant reward to show for it.
It is a company with much to do to prove its critics wrong. As does RIM.
That said, at least it allows us a sneak peek of the German team's 2013 contender.
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