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08 April 2022
How people engage with Formula 1
Since 2016, Formula One has undergone profound changes as it has expanded with more races in key markets like the US; it has worked hard to bring onboard a whole new fanbase – GWI Insights has delved deep into the motorsport series as the season heats up.
Why it matters
Far from the prestige years when the sport and its powerful former boss Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula 1 brand of today is in more places, expanding into different formats, territories, and media.
GWI’s insights explore how brands get involved in a spectacle that has come a very long way from the cars adorned with tobacco brands.
What GWI found
Based on a combination of GWI Sport’s data set and GWI’s Zeitgeist data (totalling more than 6000 fans across 16 countries), the findings point to a months long point of engagement with an above-average income global audience.
Across 16 markets, F1 is the most popular motor sport watched. The only exceptions are Indonesia where MotoGP takes the lead, and the US where NASCAR is most-followed.
How F1 fans watch
Three-quarters of F1 fans get their fix through highlights or recaps
Word-of-mouth is the top way to keep up with sports but sports influencers have strong appeal
Outside of China, the top platform for F1 fans to follow sports, such as read articles/updates or watch coverage or clips etc., is YouTube
Around 80% of F1 fans follow athletes/players on social media compared to 66% for leagues, which shows the influence of individual athletes.
An affluent fanbase ready to spend
F1 fans are 30% more likely than the average sports fan to say they’re in the high-income bracket (36% say this)
30% of this group say they tend to buy the premium version of products – making this their top stand-out brand attitude.
Many of these fans report wanting to be involved at a deeper level of understanding – brands should consider the use of behind the scenes work that can take audiences deeper.
“Being on TV is important but being prudent with that spend and looking at highlight and recap packages might deliver more horsepower than advertising during the programme,” Tom Hedges, a trends analyst at GWI explains.