The 2012 World Rally Championship will be sponsored by the telecommunications giant Nokia.
For the first time since its creation, the WRC is to have a title sponsor and, in 2012, it will be known as the ‘WRC presented by Nokia’, reported BestofRallyLive.com.
In the USA, many of the main championships have been associated with a brand name for some 40 years, including series like NASCAR being backed by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company from 1972, as well as the Winston Cup Series, the Nextel Cup Series, etc.
Until now, only certain rounds of the WRC have incorporated their sponsor’s names in their appellation, such as the Vodafone Rally de Portugal and the Neste Oil Rally Finland. In 2012, the entire Championship will have its own official backer.
Nokia is a multi-national company based in Espoo, near Helsinki, Finland, and employs a staff of 130,000. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones and, in 2011, joined forces with Microsoft to equip its smartphones with Windows 7. The new range is due to reach the market in 2012. The current partners of the World Rally Championship are Abu Dhabi, Delphi (automobile parts), Edox (Swiss watches), FxPro (Forex on-line trading), Nokia and Michelin.