Despite challenges, F1 delivers commercial value Neither a sluggish global economy or threat of a breakaway series has derailed the thrill and commercial power inherent in Formula One, reports motorsports-exclusive marketing agency Just Marketing International (JMI). Sponsor and fan indicators suggest the sport is positioned to retain its well-established following and commercial pull.
Thus far, 2009 has provided a memorable storyline for the world’s most popular motor sport series. Fresh faces and unlikely race winners have provided F1’s massive global TV audience with new reasons to tune in. And following months of very public exchanges between teams and the sport’s governing body, anticipated adoption of a new Concorde Agreement promises to remove the prospect of a splinter series in 2010.
“It now appears that Bernie Ecclestone and F1 Management, the FIA and the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) have found a way to keep the sport intact for the foreseeable future,” said Zak Brown, Founder and CEO of Just Marketing International. “Adoption of a new Concorde Agreement would be immensely helpful in providing long-term stability that is critical to maintaining and attracting sponsors.”
Meanwhile, a 2009 mid-season analysis of Formula One television viewership confirms the series continues to offer solid commercial returns. According to IFM, a leader in sports marketing intelligence, Formula One’s global television audience has remained fairly stable in 2009. To date, of the leading television markets, only Italy has shown decline. Overall, the sport’s solid global television following is somewhat remarkable given growing alternate media channels and the general economic sluggishness.
“F1 continues to set the motorsports benchmark for global reach and frequency,” Brown said. “Recently, based on the barrage of controversial and damaging public comments by some within the sport, I commented that Formula One needed to get its act together. Getting back to business as usual is exactly the prescription for that, and I applaud the key stakeholders for working together in the sport’s long-term best interests.”
Brown also said JMI’s Formula One clients — Johnnie Walker, Hilton, Lenovo and LG — continue to be exceptionally pleased with returns on their 2009 sponsorships. “For global marketers, Formula One is a uniquely powerful platform,” Brown said. “With long-term stability returning to the sport, we will continue to draw leading corporate decision-makers actively seeking an advantage and differentiator through Formula One to build their brands and businesses.” Just Marketing