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5 Indians get a ‘money-can’t-buy’ lifetime opportunity with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes...

5 Indians get a ‘money-can’t-buy’ lifetime opportunity with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team at the second season of India’s racing event

Mumbai, 24/10/2012

Mumbai, October 24, 2012: Vodafone India, one of India’s leading telecommunications service providers, today announced the winners of ‘Vodafone Drive into the Big League – II’ and ‘Vodafone Join the Team’, two unique and innovative engagement initiatives in the build-up to the second season of India’s racing event at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) at Greater Noida.

At the close of three months of high activity-led selection and elimination process, M/s Sequel Logistics Private Limited was declared winner of the ‘Vodafone Drive into the Big League – II’ - an annual initiative by Vodafone India, to provide a fillip to the SME sector and give them a money-can’t-buy-experience of having their company logo on the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes cars during the race weekend. S Rajkumar, COO & Director, Sequel Logistics Private Limited received this honour at the hands of Naveen Chopra, Director, Vodafone Business Services in the presence of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes racing legend Lewis Hamilton.

Receiving the coveted honour of being the guest sponsor, S Rajkumar, COO & Director, Sequel Logistics Private Ltd said, “This is an incredible moment and I am speechless. On behalf of the entire organisation, I am very grateful to Vodafone for creating this wonderful platform for enabling SMEs like us to gain centrestage. It is once-in-a-lifetime experience to see our logo being showcased on global stage as the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes cars race through the circuit during race weekend. We are sure this is going to benefit us invaluably in terms of building more equity for our brand and our products and services.”

Leveraging its global and exclusive relationship with McLaren Mercedes since 2007, Vodafone has been engaging and providing customers with unique content and great experiential events and promotions through access to the team, the drivers and other assets. One such pioneering initiative has been ‘Join the Team’ which Vodafone has been spearheading since 2009, much before the big race came to India. The initiative facilitates lucky customers to win a grand opportunity to spend the race weekend with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team in Delhi. Over 600,000 enthusiasts engaged online and via sms to participate in this contest of which 2000 sent in complete entries.

The four lucky winners of this year’s ‘Join the Team’ are Rahul Chhabria (Mumbai), Parth Doshi (Mumbai), Anshita Rastogi (Delhi) and Paras Gupta (Delhi) and they will spend the weekend of their lives enjoying full hospitality staying with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team. They will get complete access to the Paddock club, Pit lane, team garage and will also participate in pit crew practice along with the two racing stars. The winners were greeted on stage by racing icon, Lewis Hamilton.

Just over a month since his first-of-its-kind Night Speed Run in Mumbai, Lewis Hamilton expressed his pleasure at being back in India. Lewis Hamilton said, “Each time I return to India, I want to spend more time and come back to see more of this country. It is very gratifying to see a growing interest and enthusiasm for motor-racing sport in India. I would like to thank Vodafone, for their continued support to the team. It has been a positive and mutually enabling association and as a team, we are all looking forward to the race on Sunday.”

“The track looks great, it has quite a nice mix of corners - the start of the lap is pretty stop-start, there are a couple of long straights mixed with tight hairpins, but it’s the end of the lap that’s more interesting. I am sure the speed and race enthusiasts will witness spectacular display of superlative racing skills. I am looking forward to the first practice session tomorrow to get a feel of the drive awaiting us on Sunday,” added Lewis.

Additionally, following the success of Vodafone speed fest in Mumbai, Vodafone has tied up with Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) flyway authorities to make the big race experience for racing enthusiasts in Delhi and NCR more interesting. On the main race day on Sunday, October 28, 2012, from 8am to 10pm, Vodafone will speed-up Delhi by making the DND Flyway Toll free allowing Delhi-ites a hassle-free experience as they will not have to wait in long queues to pay toll and get to reach BIC faster, smarter and better. Vodafone India has received the approval and necessary written permission from Noida Toll Bridge Company.


Global Association

Vodafone is the Title sponsor and 'Official Total Communications Partner' of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team. This partnership is Vodafone's major global sponsorship and is part of an ongoing commitment to the Formula 1 World Championship, a sport which continues to deliver massive global television coverage and which has significant appeal for Vodafone's consumer and business customers and racing fans around the world.

The title sponsorship, including the team name 'Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' and 'Official Total Communications Partner' of the team, continues to give Vodafone dominant title sponsorship branding on the new 2012 cars, drivers' and pit crews' overalls and helmets. As it enters into the fifth season of this partnership, the associative rights acquired provide Vodafone, unique opportunities that will continue to build brand value and raise brand awareness.

The team partnership delivers an innovative, powerful and integrated marketing platform enabling Vodafone customers to get closer to the action through unique experiences, innovative content, experiential events, advertising, offers and promotions.  Innovative products and services allow Vodafone to bring our customers closer to the passion of Formula 1, empowering them to live the experience through our sponsorship programmes.


Vodafone Drive into the Big League

In order to make significant in-roads into the small and medium business community and to give then a platform for easier path of growth, Vodafone India, launched the second season of Vodafone Drive into the Big League in July 2012.

SMEs are the growth engine of the Indian economy and Vodafone is partnering this segment in their growth journey. In a very competitive scenario, SMEs need technology tools to make their business processes more efficient. Technology, which increases speed and efficiency by automating business process, saves cost by minimizing errors and reducing human intervention and expands reach by connecting more offices spread across geographies. Vodafone as a Total Communication Solutions Provider is an enabler for the SMEs to provide the above technology.

The Drive into the Big League initiative gives one lucky SME the opportunity to take center stage with their logo on the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes cars at the second season of the formula one motor racing event in Delhi. In 2012, Vodafone received a phenomenal response of over 300,000 entries from all parts of the country, competing for the coveted spot. After the city qualifying rounds in 10 cities across the country, namely Pune, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Mangalore, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Vizag, Lucknow, Ahmedabad and Bhubaneshwar, 21 finalists participated in an eight part TV reality series on national television in front of an expert jury panel vying for the top honour.

The Drive into the Big League campaign was also adjudged one of the best uses of sponsorship at the Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards and Abby Awards for creativity of the promotion campaign.

The winner company will have their logo on the cars during the race which will be broadcast to millions of TV viewers across the globe. Last year we saw ABC Consultants take the coveted spot, this year another enterprising brand will take the spot.


Vodafone Join the Team

Join the Team is a part of Vodafone’s efforts to deliver innovative, powerful and integrated marketing platforms enabling Vodafone customers to get closer to the action through unique experiences, innovative content, experiential events.

A mass scale consumer engagement programme, Join the Team provides 4 winners with money can’t buy opportunity to spend a weekend with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes (VMM) team during the motor racing event scheduled to be held at Noida. The contest was open to any Vodafone subscriber (except JK & TN) from October 4, 2012 till October 21st 2012. Users had to participate by just logging through www.vodafone.in /jointheteam to register or by sending an SMS SPEED to 56565 (free of charge. Participants were required to select the correct response to two questions and submit a slogan. Over 600,000 enthusiasts engaged online and via sms to participate in this contest. Out of these 2000 sent in complete entries and the four lucky winners were chosen eventually. These winners will experience the weekend of a lifetime, living 48 hours with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team.


About Vodafone India:

Vodafone India is a member of the Vodafone Group and commenced operations in 1994 when its predecessor Hutchison Telecom acquired the cellular license for Mumbai. The company with revenues of over INR 32,000 crores has operations across the country with over 152 million customers. Vodafone India has firmly established a strong position within the Vodafone Group too, making it the largest subscriber base globally. This journey is a strong testimony of Vodafone’s success in a highly competitive and price sensitive market.

Vodafone India has been awarded the 'Best Marketing Company for 2011' in a survey conducted by a leading financial daily. The company received the 'Most Admired Telecom Operator' and 'Best 3G Operator' awards at the recent Telecom Operator Awards 2012. Vodafone Business Services received the “Best Enterprise Service Provider” at the Frost & Sullivan Awards 2012. At the India Retail Forum 2012, the company was awarded as the Best Retailer in the mobile and telecom category. The company has also received the globally recognized prestigious ‘Product of the Year 2012’ consumer award for Vodafone Apps Store in the Mobile Services Category. In another survey conducted by Nielsen, Vodafone India was the only telecom player in the Top 10 ‘Most Exciting Youth Brands’ in India.

At Vodafone, sustainability is an integral part of the company’s mission and strategy, shaping the conduct of business every day. Vodafone India, in line with its group philosophy has released the Corporate Sustainability Report for India – Footprints 2010-11. To view the online version of the report, please visit www.vodafone.in. Vodafone India has been awarded the prestigious “Golden Peacock Award” for corporate social responsibility for 2012.

Vodafone Group is one of the world's largest mobile communications companies with revenue of £46.4bn and 404 million customers as on March 31, 2012. Vodafone currently has equity interests in over 30 countries across five continents and more than 40 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com.


For further information, please contact
Suresh Rangarajan/Mansi Tiwari | Vodafone India | Mobile: +91 982001 18091 (Suresh) +91 98198
18462 (Mansi) I suresh.rangarajan@vodafone.com, mansi.tiwari@vodafone.com
Laliitha Aiyer | Adfactors PR | 9819023010 | laliitha.aiyer@adfactorspr.com

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