Red Bull’s title partner, Infiniti, has become the first Formula One team sponsor to receive over US $1billion in a season in advertising value – according to the leading global research company Repucom.
Against a backdrop of declining TV audiences in some markets, the figure is an astonishing one, considering that the cost of a title sponsorship for a leading F1 team is around £70 million per year. Although Repucom’s data suggests a high return on investment ratio, good sponsorships for teams are proving hard to find, with only a handful of teams lucky enough to have a title sponsor. McLaren recently lost Vodafone and have yet to identify its replacement, while big names like Lotus, Williams and Sauber have gone a few seasons without a title sponsor.
Nigel Geach, a well known figure in the F1 paddock and vice president at Repucom said, “Clear branding on the car, team and drivers in addition to significant airtime thanks to the team’s strong on track performance throughout the year, gave Infiniti the advertising equivalency value of over $1billion from Global TV coverage -an amazing achievement.”
The $1 billion figure is measured scientifically from time on screen against a rate card; it has been accumulated through media advertising and brand recognition of Infiniti on the team’s cars, drivers and team personnel during TV coverage of Grand Prix weekends. The recognition, however, does not necessarily equate to increased sales, simply familiarity of the brand.
“We get huge exposure. The first season with Red Bull Racing the quantitative data showed we got US $250 million of media value, then we got US$339 in the second season,” said Andreas Sigi, Global Director of Infiniti Formula One. “This is logo exposure through the live coverage of qualifying and racing. If you then add everything else we do it’s huge, but that only means people have heard of Infiniti.
“Then the next step is ‘What do we stand for?’ Are we a performance brand or a premium brand and that takes time.”