The ROK Group has furthered its presence in motorsport, with its ROKiT telco brand agreeing a three-year title sponsorship deal with Formula E team Venturi Racing.
The agreement with the Monaco-headquartered outfit has been struck on the eve of the Formula E season-opener in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, and rebrands the team as ROKiT Venturi Racing.
Alongside pioneering smartphone solutions, ROKiT has recently launched an international venture to aid the development of smart cities across the globe through ROKiT Cities – branding for which will feature on the race cars of both Felipe Massa and Edoardo Mortara, in addition to all team kit.
Having already introduced public WiFi hotspots across 27 cities in India, ROKiT aims to create smart cities in 10 different countries over the next three years through the introduction of cost-effective connections.
The Venturi deal comes after the ROK Group last month further enhanced its association with Williams through its ROKiT Drinks brand agreeing a multi-year sponsorship deal with the Formula One team.
Commencing with the 2020 season, ROKiT Drinks will promote various brands within its portfolio including Bogart Spirits, ABK Beer and Bandero Tequila. ROKiT Smart Cities will be more widely used at races when alcohol branding is not permitted in the host country.
ROK Group’s ROKiT Phones arm in July struck an extension to its title sponsorship deal with Williams. ROKiT’s original contract was only signed in February, but the company committed to extend the deal from three to five years, taking the relationship through to the end of the 2023 season.
Commenting on Venturi’s partnership with ROKiT, team principal Susie Wolff told the Autosport website: “It’s a proud moment for us that ROKiT has chosen to join us in Formula E, but it’s also a very defining moment that a big sponsor in Formula 1 has also chosen to enter the Formula E platform.
“There were a number of discussions going on, but I was quite confident that we weren’t going to go into season six without a partner on board. It was a really important part of the jigsaw for year two (of a three-year development programme).”
Jonathan Kendrick, chairman of ROK Brands and co-founder of ROKiT, said Formula E’s city-centre race locations was “the big key” to the deal, with the company seeking to showcase its connectivity technology to the electric racing championship’s audience.
“(ROKiT) technology is going to change the world and how we communicate within cities, and that’s the clever thing about it – it’s so inexpensive, everybody can now have access,” Kendrick said. “I made up my mind in the first 10 minutes – that this is where I want to be.”