“F1 Is More Popular Than Ever” – How Brands Won Big At The Grand Prix

“F1 Is More Popular Than Ever” – How Brands Won Big At The Grand Prix

Over 400 million people globally are estimated to have watched the Grand Prix this weekend. Thanks to the success of Netflix’s hit documentary Drive To Survive, the days when only serious motorheads were engaged in the sport are long gone.

Paramount’s general manager of ad sales, Nick Bower said that, despite the global appeal, it was important to consider brand engagement form a local angle.

“We give Australian sponsors access to the Australian Formula One because they have a unique broadcast that only talks to Australian audiences,” Bower said.

“There are global sponsorship guidelines that we work with, but equally we give our broadcast partners access to the Australian Grand Prix in the best way,” he continued.

Following the success of Drive To Survive, several high-level decisions have been made within Formula One which has improved the sport, Bower said.

One of the adjustments Paramount has made is making sure “talent is as big as possible”, Bower said.

Nick Bower, Paramount

This includes bringing in some big guns when it comes to broadcasting the sport. This year, Paramount picked ex-motor racer Damon Hill and Formula One legend Guenther Steiner to commentate the sport.

For Bower, it is important to make sure all types of different viewers feel spoken to.

“We’re communicating to really intelligent Formula One audiences,” he said.

“Australian fans know their Formula One, they’ve been watching this event for a long time and they are proud of it. So whether they care about the tire temperature or they are just really interested in the characters in the sport, we need to talk to all of them.”

Darian Misko, general manager – sales and commercial at the Australian Grand Prix says the sports and the sponsorship opportunities have changed significantly in the 10 years he has worked for the motor body.

“Our bread and butter has always been the motorsport industry and those partners who are linked to Formula One and motorsport in general. But now we’re looking at the growth in the female audiences – this has grown to 39 per cent now. That’s opened up our opportunity with brands like Mecca, L’Oreal, Ralph Polo and Ralph Lauren”.

Darian Misko

The presence of families and younger markets have also allowed GP to work with DC studios and Warner Bros, he said.

Whilst Formula One has previously been linked with premium brands such as Rolex, the AGP has made sure to include all entry points Misko said.

“We’ve designed an event and a ticket experience that covers all bases. We have a whole range of hospitality experiences and 28 hospitality facilities across our circuit. We have entry-level facilities, mid-tier facilities and the super-premium and elusive party club”.

In the past, sponsoring the event meant ‘brand slapping’ – putting your name on things – Misko says, but now engagement is the top priority.

“Marriott Bonvoy is a perfect example of that. They’re not about putting their brand up everywhere. They’re curating really memorable experiences for both their new members and their existing customers. They do this through behind-the-scenes experiences, pit lane walks, helicopter flights and joy rides”.


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