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Red Bull is going to be announced as the new promoter of the World Rally Championship, Autosport is reporting. Or it’s saying it “understands.”

Red Bull Media House — a bit of a mouthful, huh? — was one of three finalists to replace the previous promoter, who got kicked to the curb after its parents company went bankrupt.

The move would seem to solidify Red Bull’s position in major motor sports — does anyone still always have the itching suspicion that the Ferraris and McLarens of the world think Red Bull might just up and pull out of Formula 1? — but also give WRC a partner with pretty strong promotion credentials.

As proof, may I present Exhibit A: Negative Camber.

Autosport quotes Citroen boss Yves Matton, whose team is sponsored by Red Bull:

“I think [Red Bull] Media House promoting the championship would be a good thing, but it would be different from Red Bull, which is the team sponsor.

“When they do something, they do it properly and they don’t just want to make a good name with the promotion. If they choose to invest in the World Rally Championship then it’s because they want to make a proper job, otherwise they would not even attempt to do it.”

A few reactions:

My gut suggests there could be some married marketing between WRC and extreme sports; I know, not a big leap given Travis Pastrana’s role with Red Bull. But there certainly are some intriguing possibilities.

I’d also like to think that Red Bull sees the U.S. market as an important one, and that perhaps we’ll get more WRC here. I actually think rallying may have more potential than Formula 1 in America; there’s a rough and tumble, post-bootlegging feel to the cars navigating uneven road, slipping and sliding, jumping and skidding.

This seems only good for WRC. Thoughts?

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  • tfirth392

    I’m not sure, in two minds about it, British Motorsport newspaper : Motorsport News ran a similar article this morning, saying the deal was between 3 an 5 years.

    It depends which TV station the series ends up on, at least it does for us in the UK, currently MotorsTV have a TV deal for the series in the current season.

    The TV package we have available here is highlights of each of the days the rally is spread across for 30 minutes at 1030 PM, it is repeated as a highlights show later in the week but it still far from prominent coverage that the series needs.

    I think Red Bull as a promoter could be good to get the sport in the public eye again.

    The division of the company that will be promoting the series, Is the same division responsible for the magazine “The red bulletin” which has created great promotion for them in F1 for Red Bull Racing.

    Having those initiatives could really help the championship in terms of marketing.

    However would Red Bull be settled with what is seen as traditional rallying or would the thought be more extreme events for the future of the series ?

    I think it’s good that we have knowledge of a promoter at last, Of the three options rumoured, I would have likely chosen Eurosport events if the option was available to do so.

    However I think the FIA may want to keep WRC and the IRC which is promoted by Eurosport apart, and Red Bull likely could offer something new.

    This situation has gone on for months and It is good news that we are finally near the stage of a deal been reached,Interesting that the rumours of the deal been announced are at Rally Deutschland or at the FIA WMSC meeting in September.

  • mark h

    And here, in my opinion, lies the medium-term future of F1, also.

  • dude

    This is a very positive news, I never like the RedBull F1 team ala Horner and Marko, but they do sponsor many drivers and sports, they will sure to find something exciting to bring to the table. In fact, Since the current condition of the WRC is literally down the toilet, they must have think hard or had a plan to even considered being a promoter. But it’s up to the FIA to work with them to improve the rally format (the current short day repeated stage format is not exciting) and to find a way to provide a good TV coverage that not necessarily compete with F1, but at least not completely utter shite.

    About your question of whether Red Bull is pulling out of F1, no. Even HRT gets more coverage than the entire WRC championship. Lack of manufacturers, the championship being strong armed by Citroen and Ford, but now Ford wanting to quit as well not being able to secure a championship title for years. Lastly from a fan point of view, Petter Solberg is the only reason I pay any little attention to the sport anymore, all other drivers are boring.

    Rally cross “racing” is something that can be understood and appeal to average American fans more than F1 imo, it would be very positive for the sport if Red Bull do some proper WRC promotion in the US.

  • Jack Flash (Aust)

    Question in return…. Could the Red Bull extreme sports promotion machine do ANY worse than the current custodians of WRC have done? I can’t see how that is possible. Nor likely from Red Bulls sporting promotional track records. I’d expect Red Bull to certainly ‘kick WRC up a few notches’ in all facets of the product.

    A breathe of life is about to sweep WRC, and only just in time to save it from inevitable extinction. The current WRC product and its marketing and media access is complete crap. JF

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