Since Aston Martin announced its return to the sport after a 61-year absence, a pair of prominent domestic technology companies have made multi-year, multimillion dollar financial commitments in the open wheel racing team. Back in January, Cognizant Technology Solutions signed on as title sponsor of the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team, and Sportico reports that later this morning SentinelOne will be named its Official Cyber Security Partner.
While F1 is still largely ignored by the American sports fan, technology has brought on the age of globalization and enabled companies to increasingly grow their businesses abroad. With races in 21 international cities this year (plus Austin, Texas), Slack says Formula One provides “an excellent option [for companies] to expand their marketing footprint. The sport reaches a global audience in a way that a lot of other sports don’t—especially on a B2B, C-Suite basis.”
In addition to having global reach, Formula One is also different from most sports properties in the sense that “it [roots] itself in performance and technology,” the Aston Martin exec told Sportico. That enables corporate partners to use the sport as a platform to tell a global tech story. “If a brand wants to [showcase] their product(s), and they are in technology, [F1] is a really sexy way to demonstrate what [you] can do. In essence, the reason [teams] win or lose is because their technology is better [or worse than the competition]. You wouldn’t say the same thing about baseball, soccer, hockey or basketball,” Slack said.
Sentinel CMO Daniel Bernard echoed those sentiments. American technology companies are gravitating towards Formula One, Bernard said, because it’s “a highly technical sport with a global audience, which aligns with our company makeup and buyer audience.”
IndyCar, with your 10-year-old car, are you listening?