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Nick Fry to talk on what???

NEWS STORY
29/11/2009

Having remained in the background for much of the year, Nick Fry has been back in the news of late sharing his thoughts on such things as Jenson Button's loyalty. But guess what subject he is to speak on in a forthcoming forum.

The last time we heard from Nick Fry in earnest was back when Honda was seeking a buyer for its F1 team. At that time, the team CEO regularly kept us all updated with the numerous interested parties seeking to buy the Brackley outfit, at one stage claiming to have had as many as thirty serious enquiries.

However, once it was revealed that it was likely that a management buy-out was the most likely option at Brackley, Mr Fry went suspiciously quiet.

Sure enough, Fry was subsequently revealed as one of five directors of Brawn GP and once the season got underway the Englishman uncharacteristically faded into the background, only occasionally emerging to share his thoughts with us all.

However, at season's end, as Ross Brawn headed off on a well deserved fishing break, Fry broke cover again to question Jenson Button's loyalty following his decision to join McLaren.

The precise details of why Button chose to move to McLaren are shrouded in mystery, but whatever it was that led the new world champion to leave Brackley one can be pretty certain that his loyalty didn't come into it. He took a major gamble in staying with Brawn, and while it was a gamble that paid off in spades it should never be forgotten that when things were at their darkest he remained loyal to the team. Furthermore, appreciating that money was tight - not any more though, eh Nick! - he even paid his own travel expenses. To have his loyalty questioned by Mr Fry was outrageous.

Now we learn that Mr Fry is heading to Abu Dhabi to address the Arabian Sponsorship Forum on, guess what, sponsorship in F1.

"Sponsorship is incredibly important across all global sports and a key component of the commercial plan for Formula One teams," says Fry.

Yes, sponsorship is the lifeblood of F1, but we respectfully ask what on earth Mr Fry knows about it.

Unable to attract any sponsor of note, Honda resorted to the lamentable MyEarthDream nonsense, surely a candidate for one of the most ludicrous ideas in the history of sponsorship. Then, despite the fact that Brawn GP was leading the World Championships, the team struggled to hold on to its main sponsor (Virgin) which was clearly keen to move to a brand new totally unproven outfit (Manor).

As the Brackley outfit headed towards both titles, one or two minor sponsors came on board but usually on a one-race deal at a time when there should have been a queue of potential sponsors lining up all the way to Tescos.

In late August, Mr Fry assured us that new sponsorship deals were in place for the next three years, indeed he talked of a "log jam" of deals. "We've signed some nice contracts," he promised.

No doubt Mercedes, which as Chris Sylt has made clear, will have to dig deep into its pockets to fund the team, will be as keen to hear about these new sponsors as the rest of us, especially with some within Daimler-Benz already questioning the decision to buy Brawn GP in the first place.

One can only assume that as Nick Fry prepares to educate others on the importance of sponsorship in F1, Nelson Piquet is being lined up to talk on sportsmanship and Nigel Stepney on integrity.

Surely Nick's having a laugh.

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