Research in the new F1 Strategy

Formula 1 is a brand that most research professionals would yearn to work with. In 2017, the brand could boast half a billion fans worldwide, 21 races in five continents, and revenue of $1.8bn. It is rare that such a brand undergoes fundamental strategic change, but its purchase by Liberty Media in 2016 introduced a new fan-centric strategy, with every aspect of the business subject to re-interpretation.

The F1 Research and Insights Team was established at the start of 2017, with the aim of establishing a comprehensive consumer, media and brand research framework by mid-season. A round of tenders led to the appointment of seven suppliers, ranging from global agencies Nielsen, Kantar and Ipsos down to small consultancies like Culture of Insight.

The need for effective Insight Management

F1's newly installed Research Director Matt Roberts had these Insight Management objectives to fulfil by the middle of his first season:-

  • Build a research capability from scratch, ensuring that by mid-2017 season his team had launched ongoing key research initiatives such as a Fan Tracker and segmentation study, a spectator research programme and a sponsorship evaluation study.
  • Manage the supply of insights to the new management and stakeholders, ensuring that these reach the right people, at the right time, in an optimal format.
  • Deliver measurable business impact, in a business where performance measurement is in their DNA.