The Marketing Strategy That Saved The F1 – By Charbel El Hachem

The Marketing Strategy That Saved The F1 – Formula 1 or best Known as F1 is the face of the motorsport industry and that’s by being one of the most famous and prestigious competition worldwide.A Formula One season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, which takes place in many different circuits from around the world. But in 2016, the sport was slowly fading away and was not demanded by the audience. The 2010 till 2015 global fan surveys revealed a sever dissatisfaction from the point of view of the public. In the other hand, sports such as basketball, and football were booming and getting more and more recognition. Motor racing wasn’t considered accessible and entertaining. In fact, people associated this sport to “rich and wealthy people.”

The Apparent Savior Of The Sport

In 2016, the American media company Liberty Media became the owner of Formula 1, whom are still running the industry. Upon their arrival Liberty Media noticed a lack of digital marketing in this sport. The dissatisfaction upon the fans happened because they did not have as much access to the sport as they did with others. The main problem was that the company focused severely on the economic and financial part, by securing the media and the sponsors. They have forgot the most important part, the fan base.

So to overcome this crisis, Liberty Media focused on many main points. One of them being, the presence of digital media and that’s by engaging with the younger fans so they can interact with them and keep them on being updated. Another main factor for the enlargement of the sport was its arrival to the main stream. In 2019 the docuseries: Drive to Survive arrived upon Netflix and received great reviews and ratings. A final main factor to the rise of formula 1 was expanding the sport throughout different circuits around the world, at first the company focused on racing in Europe which is the home continent of the sport, but then the industry focused mainly in the middle east where as of today they are 4 existing Grand prix being the ones in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

Audience analysis and understanding would be, most probably, the most important factor in the marketing success of F1, by acquiring the ability to segment and target audience segments more effectively, and communicating with each more efficiently.

Below are few of the tools in the F1 Marketing Plan as described during the management of CEO Chase Carey:

– Creating additional assets to increase the commercial opportunities and exposure of the Sponsors.

– Developing local language coverage in the F1’s biggest markets.

– Building targeted campaigns with recognised partners that strengthen perceptions of F1 as the ultimate racing and entertainment spectacle.

– Produce original and tailored content to deepen fan engagement.

– Increasing the fan’s interaction by creating engaging content available through continuous updated social and digital platforms

Direct Results of the F1 Marketing Strategy

It has been mainly the connection with the world and the fans that rescued this sport from obscurity. The final race in the 2021 Grand Prix achieved the 7th largest cable audience on record in the United States of America.

According to Audiense data, things have definitely changed dramatically since 2019. The online conversation around F1 is now largely driven by the 18-24 demographic, accounting for almost 40% of mentions in the US. This is closely followed by 25-35, who make up an additional 25% of the audience.

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