Fernando Alonso has been revealed as the most marketable driver in Formula One after an independent study found him to have the highest level of appeal, influence and trust in the sport, whilst Jenson Button beat compatriot Lewis Hamilton to the most marketable in the UK market.
Repucom, a world leader in sports market research which is used by many of the teams and sponsors in F1, has compiled a list of the most marketable drivers in Formula One, using a set of measurements to show that Alonso holds the highest global appeal, ahead of Hamilton and Felipe Massa.
The global index, which was created in-house by Repucom, quantifies consumer perceptions of celebrities, ranging from TV and film stars to sports and businessmen. It measures the individual’s key attributes, such as their appeal, influence, trendsetting, trust and aspiration through the companies Celebrity DBI in order to offer a defined list of the most influential and marketable people in their respective industry. It is based on a sample of 6,500 people in 13 countries.
Ferrari’s Alonso has a global recognition of 71.14%, heading Hamilton and Massa who are known by 64.91% and 60.98% of the world’s population respectively. Whilst interestingly, Massa has the highest level of awareness in his home country, being known by 99.2% of the Brazilian population, compared to the 98.35% for Alonso in his native Spain and 97.58% for Sebastian Vettel in Germany – who lies fourth in the overall global rankings of most marketable driver.
The reasons for Alonso holding the top spot are numerous, given his role as lead Ferrari driver, who are the most supported team in Formula One with 59% of fans stating an interest in the Prancing Horse. Furthermore, he is well liked by the media and fans, an area in which Vettel has struggled in the last twelve months following his in-team troubles with former team-mate Mark Webber.
“It may be a surprise to some that globally, Sebastian Vettel does not score as highly in terms of public opinion as the likes of Alonso, Hamilton and Massa,” said Nigel Geach, Senior Vice President of Motorsport, Repucom.
“Alonso’s dominance in the rankings is down in large part to his international deals and association with the Ferrari brand. Despite Red Bull’s recent successes, globally, 59% of F1 fans have an interest in the Ferrari team, representing the highest levels of interest in any F1 team and with races screened across 160 global markets to a cumulative global TV audience of 1.8 billion, one can see the importance this can have on perception.”
In the UK, Jenson Button beats Lewis Hamilton to the spot of most marketable domestic driver and although Hamilton is more recognised in Britain, the McLaren driver’s rankings of appeal, influence and aspirational highlight him as the more marketable.
Repucom Most Marketable Formula One Drivers:
Top 5 Global Celebrity DBI Score/Awareness
1. Fernando Alonso 70.57 – 71.14%
2. Lewis Hamilton 64.91 – 63.65%
3. Felipe Massa 60.98 – 58.14%
4. Sebastian Vettel 60.64 – 54.30%
5. Kimi Raikkönen 59.98 – 56.40%
Top 5 UK Celebrity DBI Score/Awareness
1. Jenson Button 82.87 – 88.58%
2. Lewis Hamilton 81.69 – 90.74%
3. Fernando Alonso 67.21 – 70.02%
4. Sebastian Vettel 63.80 – 64.79%
5. Felipe Massa 62.66 – 62.32%
Top 5 Domestically Celebrity DBI Score/Awareness
1. Fernando Alonso 89.61 – 98.35%
2. Felipe Massa 88.84 – 99.20%
3. Sebastian Vettel 87.97 – 97.58%
4. Jenson Button 82.87 – 88.58%
5. Lewis Hamilton 81.69 – 90.74%