Before you dive in, if you are interested in motorsport sponsorship, check out these titles in our “sponsorship for motorsport” series:
- Resource Page for Motorsport Sponsorship
- Motorsport Sponsorship: How to Get Racing Sponsors
- 7 Motorsport Sponsorship Mistakes to Avoid
- Companies who Sponsor Motorsport
As a business owner sponsoring companies or organizations, the question of which industry or niche to focus on is paramount. You should select an industry that gels with your target audience and can drive more of the results you seek. If you’ve decided that’s motorsports, what are some benefits to expect?
Here are 5 major advantages of partnering with a motorsport organization for your next sponsorship opportunity:
- Breaking into a profitable market
- Huge audience to tap into
- More media coverage
- It’s a move your competitors won’t expect
- Fun = results
Keep reading to more deeply explore how a sponsorship between your business and a motorsport organization can pay back dividends for both parties.
Breaking into a Profitable Market
When selecting markets for your company’s sponsorship endeavors, you can hardly choose more wisely and profitably than motorsports.
All the stats point upward for this industry. According to market research company DataM Intelligence, the motorsport market achieved global revenue figures of $5.2 billion in 2022. By 2030, the number is projected to reach $9.29 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of 7.8 percent between 2023 and 2030.
The good news just keeps coming. Motorsport.com reports that F1 had a banner year in 2022, with fan attendance smashing prior records. The racing league’s revenue shot up to $2.5 billion with a positive post-COVID landscape.
The 20-percent revenue spike is hugely impressive.
Of course, we can’t discuss motorsports without mentioning NASCAR. Career resource Zippia reports that the major-league racing organization raked in $100 million in 2022, while indexing site Growjo says the number is more like $448.7 million.
NASCAR has stopped publicly reporting its revenue, a move it announced several years back in its decision to go private, so these are predictions. Even still, they paint a picture of healthy growth in the motorsport industry.
Huge Audience to Tap Into
The motorsports industry brings in so much cash because it has a large, passionate fan base of people who attend races and watch on television.
Statista reported on the viewership for three major motorsport organizations in 2022: Formula 1, IndyCar, and NASCAR. According to the stats, 1.3 million people tuned in to ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 to watch Formula 1 races.
The IndyCar Series fared better, with 1.7 million people watching on USA and NBC. However, the lion’s share of viewership went to the NASCAR Cup Series, which attracted 3.7 million viewers in 2022 on FS1 and FOX.
These are not viewership numbers across the entire season but for particular racing cup series. Nevertheless, these numbers are evident that motorsports can get millions of people glued to their couches, eagerly awaiting the action around every thrilling corner.
Who watches these races? It’s more than young men or guys in their mid-30s and 40s. According to a late 2022 article from Racer.com, the rise in F1 viewers between 18 and 49 years old shot up by 29 percent, with a 49 percent rise in viewers between 12 and 17.
The 25-to-34 demo increased by 46 percent, and the 18-to-34 age group by 43 percent.
This proves that viewers of motorsports are not predominantly older folks. They’re also not all men.
The same Racer.com article reports that the female viewership rate of F1 races increased by 34 percent in 2021 and 28 percent in 2022.
If you’ve refrained from working with motorsport organizations in a sponsorship capacity in the past because you thought you were pigeonholing yourself, you’ll see that’s not the case. Motorsports appeal to a diverse audience.
They won’t all fit your target market. For example, while it’s refreshing that younger viewers enjoy high-octane motorsport events, they don’t have a lot of disposable income and aren’t key decision-makers, so they’re less important to most businesses.
That said, the diversity of the market gives you many options for achieving your target audience conversion goals.
More Media Coverage
What business wouldn’t want more media coverage, especially for positive news like forging a partnership with a motorsport brand?
Your company might draw good viewership numbers when you post on social media, and you attract decent blog traffic, but you likely aren’t the media powerhouse that motorsport organizations can be.
For example, digital engagement company Dizplai reports that Formula 1 is among the fastest-growing sports on social media. Its rate of fan engagement shot up in 2022 by 99 percent to reach 810 million. In 2023, the racing organization has 24.1 million Instagram followers (as of this writing!).
It’s not only the motorsport organization as a whole that has social media followers in droves. Dizplai reports that F1 drivers have millions of followers on popular social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Daniel Ricciardo has 10.4 million Facebook followers, Max Verstappen has 12.6 million Twitter followers, and Lewis Hamilton boasts 38.6 million Instagram followers.
Consider the rate of media coverage you could attract by partnering with a motorsport organization or driver. News of the sponsorship will be all over local news publications, motorsport news sites, and social media.
Your rate of brand recognition will quickly increase, resulting in more website traffic and page views on your social media profiles.
However, even if traffic comes from a gargantuan resource like a motorsport league, it won’t stick if you don’t take the proper measures to capture lead information.
Your website should be optimized and redesigned for simplicity and navigability. You must have opt-in forms and lead magnets to incentivize signups. You should have an email automation workflow ready to send welcome emails, follow-ups, and abandoned cart emails as needed.
Your social media profiles should be cleaned up and active. Use a consistent logo and handle across all profiles. Update your bio and the links therein. If you can insert links to your products page in your social profiles, do it, as you’re going to get a lot of traffic in the days to come.
It’s a Move Your Competitors Won’t Expect
You know how integral it is to remain on the cutting edge of your industry. It’s leaders who make the biggest waves, not followers. That’s part of what has inspired your business to break into sponsorship, as you want to do something fewer of your competitors are.
Choosing a unique sponsorship partner, such as a motorsport organizer or driver, is sure to get your competitors talking. It’s a left-field move that will catch them off-guard. You have the opportunity to be the trailblazer, and they’ll be the ones left following in your footprints.
One of the smartest parts of working with a motorsport organization in a sponsorship capacity is that many industries and niches gel with racing surprisingly well. You don’t have to be a car manufacturer or sell motor oil to fit.
This post has a list of brands that have been and still are affiliated with motorsport organizations, from motocross to NASCAR.
If you take a look, you’ll see it truly runs the gamut, with these industries supported:
- Luxury jewelry and watches
- Video communications
- Delivery services
- Energy drinks
- Soft drinks
You don’t have to be on a Coca-Cola level to apply. Motorsport organizations, leagues, and racers often have several sponsors, so if yours is only a small piece of the puzzle, you’re still contributing to the overall picture.
Fun = Results
The last reason to sponsor a motorsport driver or organization is because it’s fun!
Like any sport, motorsports is all about audience enjoyment. These leagues want to give the people a show and send them home happy. If your company specializes in a rather dry niche or industry, such as insurance, a motorsport sponsorship is the ideal way to liven up your image without major shifts in your branding.
There’s an even bigger benefit to partnering with a fun sponsor like a motorsport organization: audience engagement.
You already know people come to a race for a good time. They’re ready to engage, and if your assets and activations can help them enjoy themselves, they’ll want to connect with your brand, products, and services.
However, you should confer with the motorsport league to discuss what its audience is looking for, then work together to craft a winning set of assets and activations that achieve those goals. Your goals should also be accounted for.
It’s hard to go wrong with motorsport activations and assets. A game or contest before the race starts or during intermission? It will perform well. Free samples? They should go quick.
Let me offer this caveat. Your motorsport partner should provide more than logos on a car or racer’s uniform. Logos are standard in motorsports, and I won’t deny that. However, they’re low-value.
A logo does nothing more than increase brand awareness, and it’s not even great at doing that. The race cars go so fast on the track that paying attention to one specific logo is difficult, and you won’t even see the racer’s uniform unless you watch the pre-race and post-race coverage.
Plus, the sheer multitude of other logos splashed on all the vehicles and uniforms, along with the additional logos around the track, makes remembering specific brands difficult.
Make it more fun than logos and you’ll glean meaningful results, including more leads, conversions, website traffic, and sales.
Motorsport sponsorship continues to be more profitable than ever and shows no signs of slowing down. If you want your business to cross the finish line with a motorsport league or racer, you’ll enjoy many benefits now and in the long term!
- About the Author
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Chris Baylis is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Sponsorship Collective.
After spending several years in the field as a sponsorship professional and consultant, Chris now spends his time working with clients to help them understand their audiences, build activations that sponsors want, apply market values to their assets and build strategies that drive sales.
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