The last minute cancellation of the Formula 1 Grand Prix last Friday dealt a significant blow to two of the race’s sponsors, research has found.
Roy Morgan has revealed major sponsors Rolex, which is the naming rights partner, and Mercedes, which is the naming rights sponsor for the most successful team, are now increasingly associated with the event.
For Rolex, just four per cent of Australians associate the Swiss watch company with the Grand Prix in Melbourne.
However, this brand association rises to 11 per cent of those who occasionally watch Formula 1 on TV, 17 per cent for those who participate in Motor racing, 23 per cent for those who attend motor sport and 25 per cent those who almost always watch Formula 1 on TV.
Similarly for Mercedes, the car maker is associated with the Australian Grand Prix by three per cent of Australians.
This figure rises to 10 per cent for those who occasionally watch Formula 1 on TV or participate in Motor racing, 13 per cent for those who attend motor sport and 14 per cent of those who almost always watch Formula 1 on TV.
Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said the research highlights some of the issues sports sponsors will face during these uncertain times.
“The full implications of the viral outbreak are impossible to quantify at this early stage. However, this cancellation clearly deals a blow to Grand Prix major sponsors such as Rolex and Mercedes, both of which have increased their public name-association with the race compared to a year ago.
“Three-quarters of a million Australians now associate Rolex with the Grand Prix, up from 610,000 a year ago and nearly 600,000 associate Mercedes, up from 380,000. Among people who participate in motor sports, attend motor sports or watch Formula 1 on TV the recognition of both brands is substantially higher.
“The challenge for sponsors and sporting events during 2020 will be determining how best to deal with massive revenue shortfalls accompanying the mass cancellation of events. In order to do this it’s vital for them to have a deep, granular understanding of exactly who is following the relevant sport and who is paying attention to their brand, in order to ensure precious advertising dollars aren’t wasted when activity resumes.”
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