The date today is – hold on, let me just check – yes. It’s October 2nd in the year of our Lord 2012.
On this day in history I was doing a little extra research into the Abu Dhabi sponsorship of Citroën in 2012, when I googled a quote about the deal which inadvertently brought up Abu Dhabi’s page in the ‘partners’ section of http://www.wrc.com.
That’s odd, I thought. Abu Dhabi hasn’t been a partner to the WRC for a couple of years, has it? So I clicked on the link – and was amazed at what I found. And I quote:
The emirate has joined forces with the FIA World Rally Championship as an Official Destination Partner to the series, arguably the world’s most dramatic form of motorsport. This fits perfectly with Abu Dhabi’s goal of becoming a centre of motorsport excellence in the Middle East, which will also see the emirate host its first Formula One Grand Prix in 2009 on the purpose-built Yas Island complex.
In addition, Abu Dhabi is partner to the reigning World Rally Champion Ford, represented by the BP-Ford World Rally Team from 2007 onwards. The emirate also has a national team competing in the Middle East Rally Championship, Team Abu Dhabi. The team’s leading driver, Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi leads the 2007 series and also drives the third works Abu Dhabi-branded Ford Focus RS WRC in the BP-Ford World Rally Team.
Five years out of date.
Children are now at school who weren’t even born when this information was valid. Amy Winehouse developed a drug habit and died from it in less time than this, one of the most visible sponsorships in recent WRC history, has had accurate information on the series website.
I mean, the other hot news in 2007 was that something called an iPhone had been invented.
Having spent more hundreds of million dollars on building and maintaining a track and hosting a Formula 1 race than any other nation in history, perhaps some mention of the rip-roaring success of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009 might be nice. Or 2010. Or 2011.
I don’t know in which direction my flabberghastedness should be pointed first.
To the WRC’s old promoters at North One, who managed to convince many people who should know better that they were world-class communicators? To the PR agencies who have been on what can only be described as EPIC retainers for the past five years whilst doing diddly-squat?
I am trying to think of any branch of serious international sport that could let this sort of thing happen.
And, you know what? I can’t.