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Marketing in Motorsport The Right Formula

Formula 1 is one of the main pinnacles of open wheel motorsport, however, it is also one of the biggest platforms for high profile advertising.

Not only are the drivers now celebrities in their own right, with Lewis Hamilton having his own line with Tommy Hilfiger, and our home-grown golden boy Daniel Ricciardo with over 2.4 million followers on Instagram, but the sport as a whole has increased its capacity for sponsorship and advertising opportunities through social media, especially since the shift from Bernie Ecclestone to Liberty media.

So, what did Formula 1 and Liberty media change to bring about this big marketing success?

Well there are many great initiatives that were put in place.

  1. Fan- first approach: The fans are at the core of the sport, they travel around the globe following teams from track to track and provide undoubted support.

This relationship with fans has been drastically improved with the introduction of Fan Zones at race events, consistent social media interaction between teams and Fans, as well as, more opportunities to get up close and personal with your favourite drivers.

Photo Source: F1FanZone

2. Greater access:  Passionate fans just can’t get enough of the sport, so providing even more exclusive behind the scenes content through avenues such as the Netflix original ‘Drive to Survive’ series and Team generated content it has allowed fans to become even more engrossed in the sport

3. Danger: There is no denying that as human beings there is an innate part of us that thrives on the thrill of danger. A mixture of high speed, fights for the championship and the unforgiving nature of some of the worldwide tracks makes for great viewing. However, sometimes the stringent rules and incomparable team budgets can lead to some of the heart pumping action being tarnished.

Photo Source: u/MrWADConsole

Therefore, it is crucial that these elements are balanced and consistent. Especially as in the beginning of 2019 over regulation and lack of consistency with the steward’s decisions led to one of the biggest downfalls Formula 1 has seen in many years. Fans, team principals and former world champions openly criticised the sport and were unsupportive of where it was heading.

However, upon approaching the mid-year break things seem to have turned around with 3 action packed races at Austria, England and Germany.

Have Formula 1 and Liberty Media finally found the right formula, or is this the beginning of the end for Formula 1 as we know it?

Comment down below and join the conversation with your thoughts about where Formula 1 is heading.

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6 Comments on “Marketing in Motorsport The Right Formula

  1. I am sad that Sky Sports get exclusive coverage, I started watching F1 when it was shown on Channel 4, so I think owning all the rights to the footage can push some people away from watching it. I know of some people who stopped watching it because they didn’t like the fact they would have to pay Sky to do it. But I love how much effort the teams are putting into their social media, its such a good way for new audiences to immerse themselves in the sport and connect with the drivers differently.

    • I completely agree! Also lately the Sky Sports coverage has exclusively focused on the front battles meaning you miss a lot of the midfield battles. It completely takes away from the sport and makes it difficult to form an opinion on many of the other drivers.

      • Yeah I’ve noticed that and some of the drivers are annoyed that people aren’t seeing the action in the midfield. Since Daniel moved to Renault he’s been angry a few times that his battles haven’t been shown so hopefully all the feedback will get back to them and they will start to include it more. I didn’t realise how good drivers like Albon were until Germany as the midfield don’t get nearly enough mention as the leaders do!

  2. I Agree with this. Although are they a bit behind because they are still protective about moving footage on the grid? Is it likely to losen up?

    • There is definitely a lot to they can still improve on, but keeping footage on the grid exclusive to certain companies like Sky Sports is all part of the prestige of the brand.

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