BAR sponsor, Teleglobe, to withdraw from F1?

Éric Gilbert - motorsport.com Montreal, 20.May.2000, Facing intense pressure to improve its operating results, from both the financial markets and from its new owner, Canadian telecommunications giant BCE Inc., Teleglobe is considering a ...

Éric Gilbert - motorsport.com

Montreal, 20.May.2000, Facing intense pressure to improve its operating results, from both the financial markets and from its new owner, Canadian telecommunications giant BCE Inc., Teleglobe is considering a possible cancellation of sponsorship of Formula 1 team British American Racing. Terence Jarman, the recently appointed Chief Executive Officer of Teleglobe Communications Corporation, said this week that Teleglobe, as a world leader in data transmission, should focus on hiring Internet engineers, not on sponsoring a Formula 1 team.

Teleglobe has a 5-year sponsorship contract with BAR, and although the amount has never been confirmed by either parties, is said to be as high as US$100M. It is rumored that the only 'clean' out strategy is a clause allowing Teleglobe to find a replacement sponsor after the first two years of the contract. With December 2000 marking the end of the first two years, speculation has already started, the most obvious one being Honda buying back Teleglobe's contract, and using the opportunity to take over the whole BAR operation.

Yesterday, Teleglobe issued a statement regarding the status of its sponsorship program with BAR. Martin Tiernay, Director, Global Sponsorship for Teleglobe said that no formal decision has been made regarding the F1 program: "With BCE's proposed acquisition of Teleglobe expected to be finalized by the end of this year, management is evaluating all aspects of its business related to the transaction and Teleglobe's growth. In terms of our Formula 1 sponsorship, we have a long-term agreement with British American Racing and, at this moment, no formal decision has been made by Teleglobe Inc. regarding the future of our involvement."

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Series Formula 1
Teams British American Racing