Senna backer Embratel could be new Williams sponsor

UPDATE #5 (GMM) Bruno Senna could bring a new title sponsor to Williams.

A spokeswoman for the beleaguered British team has confirmed to the Telegraph that American telecommunications multinational AT and T is no longer its title sponsor.

"We have reached the conclusion of our partnership, the contract expired on December 31 by mutual agreement," she said.

The Reuters news agency said Williams, ninth in the constructors' championship last season, is in "advanced negotiations" over title sponsorship with another telecommunications company.

Finland's Turun Sanomat said one candidate is Embratel, a Rio de Janeiro based company that backs Brazilian driver candidate Senna.

A team source told Reuters that the ATT deal, reported to be worth just $7 million to Williams in 2011, was not "sustainable".

The Williams spokeswoman, meanwhile, would not comment on reported links between the Oxfordshire based team and touted major sponsor Qatar National Bank (QNB) as rumored originally.

QNB is already affiliated with the team through Williams' partnership with the Qatar Science and Technology Park.

The bank is also in partnership with Qatar Telecom (Qtel).

01/04/12 As to who will replace AT&T – one rumor doing the rounds at the moment is that Williams may end up with title sponsorship from Qtel, the Qatar national telecommunications company. This makes a great deal of sense. The Qtel Group is a fixed and mobile telecommunications operator, operating in Qatar, Indonesia, Kuwait and Iraq. It has a customer base of 82 million and is present in 17 countries. Its stated aim is to be a global player by 2020 and it is busy growing its assets in the emerging markets of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It is developing a broadband network called wi-tribe.

A key focus area in its strategy is a scheme called mHealth, which uses advanced mobile technology to provide medical updates and alerts for individuals and organizations. This is similar in many respects to some of the work that is being done by McLaren Applied Technology, based on its experience gained in F1. Williams could be very helpful in this respect.

As it grows Qtel is becoming more and more involved in sponsorships, notably last year with the 12th Arab Games.

To make it even better, the company has a logo in blue and white, which would fit in very nicely with Williams’ usual livery. Joe Saward

01/04/12 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. The Williams F1 team is "seeking a new title sponsor after the termination of their agreement" with AT&T. A team spokesperson said the contract expired Dec. 31 "by mutual agreement." The telecom company's branding has been removed from the team's website. The deal reportedly was worth around $7M a season. A source said that the deal "had not been 'sustainable' at the existing level and Williams were now in advanced negotiations with another telecommunications company" Reuters

01/02/12 (GMM) Williams appears to have split with its long-time title sponsor AT&T. After the famous British team scored just 5 points and finished a dismal ninth in the 2011 championship, the logo of its American telecommunications company backer has been removed from official stationary and Williams' website.

Initial reports say the contract expired at the end of December and was not renewed, despite Williams requesting a new three-year deal for $15 million.

Until 2011, AT&T – title sponsor since 2007 – is believed to have paid around $7m per season.

It is rumored Williams could be sponsored by the part state-owned Qatar National Bank in 2012.

01/02/12 More proof AT&T is gone: will become

01/02/12 According to sources AT&T will stop immediately as title sponsor of Williams. We hear QNB Global may replace AT&T. The website: has already been claimed. Hmm….Stay tuned…….

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