Whilst documentaries such as Netflix’s Formula 1:Drive to Survive have widened interest in the F1, Paramount’s general manager of ad sales Nick Bower says other factors have improved the viewing experience of the sport.
Paramount is the long-term sponsor of the F1 in Australia, and partnered with the racing sport on the 2023 Australian Grand Prix which took place over the weekend.
Whilst Bower admits that “things like Drive to Survive have brought more peripheral audiences to the sport,” decisions made by Liberty Media (who bought the F1 in 2017) have also improved the viewing experience.
“They made some fundamental decisions in the boardroom to change the sport to even it out a little bit and to ensure more teams have bigger moments, those decisions in the boardroom meant that when those new audiences came in as peripheral audiences, they’re watching a better sport and a better product.”
For Bower there has been a big shift in the viewing demographic of the sport. “Ticket sales here alone were 75-80 per cent male last year, now it’s 60/40”.
Interestingly, Bowers says that viewing habits have changed with audience members now watching the sport for longer.
They are now watching “before and after the podium” he said. Whilst the results are one thing, viewers are now also interested in the story behind the results.
This year there has been “strong demand and interest from advertisers and partners,” Bower said.
“We’re actually using the broadcast across the whole weekend to ensure that we’re telling their story, their brand story and their connections to the sport itself”.
For Diane Ho, national digital sales director at Paramount, the F1 also gives advertisers the chance to reach audience demographics that are hard to get to.
“Young males are really hard to reach”, she told B&T.
“We know that live sport, you know, has the ability to grow our registered users across those hard to reach demographics, which is, of course, very valuable to advertisers. And that’s why these events are so amazing. Because it gives us that diversity, to connect with audiences”.
“Once they log on to our platform, we know who they are. And then we can build lookalike audiences to understand who else looks like them, and serve them content that may be relevant”.
“Once they’re in that ecosystem, it’s up to us to be able to ensure that we continue to connect with them so they come back to the platform”.