Alonso is F1’s Most Marketable Driver, Button heads Hamilton in UK stakes
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By:   |  11 Mar 2014   |  6:24 am GMT  |  353 comments

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%

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hamilton said mclaren took over his website so he had to create another website. mclaren realised its potential and took it over. they took all hamilton’s earning from that site but weren’t interested in button’s because they didn’t think it was worth much. guess what? hamilton let them have it.


judging by all the interesting comments they dont seem to have consulted the bigoted fanbase on this one.


And as one of those bigoted fans I’m a little hurt that I wasn’t included 🙁



A survery of 500 people which is then presented as fact!

Come on you sheeple – think!

Personally I think Hamilton has the most global appeal because of his celebrity lifestyle and the pussycat doll girlfriend.

Those of who have met Alonso will know he is a recluse.

The real story which James seems to have missed by accident or conveninently is the one regarding Vettel. A guy who has won 4 championships on the trot and still nobody likes him…

The real magic is not how many you win but how you win…


Clarification – it’s 6,500 people in 13 counties it was poorly expressed in the original


Alonso – Trustworthy hahaha..


“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, “

LOL, I guess Alonso’s time at McLaren has been conveniently been forgotten!


James, that is a weak one. Your site is one of the most professional ones, no point to look at those comical facts. Massa? Alonso? People want pane et circus, yeah, right, independant study


And there’s no source material.


On a tangent, it would be fun to qualify the recipients of the poll prior to finding out whether they recognise the the drivers name/ marketability.

Question 1

Can you name three F1 world champions from three different countries?

Question 2

Do you watch at least the highlights edition of more than one F1 race per year?

Question 3

Can you name 4 teams or four pairs of drivers?

I believe the relevancy of the name recognition is of little or no consequence if the the respondents know nothing of the sport, and therefore are not influenced by it. Anyone who could not answer correctly the three questions above may recognise the name Alonso, but could possibly not give a toss either way wheteher he endorses a product … Or worse think the name is in reference to a football player?


These figures are very important. It means that the man in the street is more aware of Alonso than of any other F1 driver. This is important to sponsors who will want to link their brand (in print media, cinema adverts and all sorts of other things) with well known, well regarded personalities.

That, in turn, means that if you have Alonso driving for your team then you are more interesting to sponsors, which means money.


…..only a few more days :*)


I don’t mean to be rude but is that a wart on your smiley?


so true


Alonso – trust worthy!!! Sorry guys, anything but in my eyes!!!


These numbers are made-up. Ok, perhaps not deliberately faked, but anyone suggesting that they can measure how well-known a driver is in a country, let alone the world, to four significant digits (e.g. 71.14% global awareness of Alonso) should not be taken serious.


No. Kimi is. This poll is slanted in some way. Why I do not know, but it is.


So funny. The world is also slanted, and, maybe, flatter than we think.


Just my opinion and nothing against Alonso the man or athlete, but my guess is that his being a Spaniard helps his worldwide marketability considerably.

There are over 400 million native Spanish speakers in the world, (second only to Mandarin), and of the native speakers of the other Romance languages, there are another 220 million Portuguese, 75 million French, 60 million Italian and 25 million Romanian.

Not that having language or culture in common makes instant fans of people, but then again Cristiano Ronaldo is also a native Romance language speaker and is the most famous and most marketable footballer in the world (also according to Repucom).

Raikkonen curiously is the only one on that top five list who is the native speaker of a language spoken by fewer than 100 million people (only 5 million speak Finnish).


There should be more English speakers than Spanish speakers unless you are looking at Native Speakers. According to this, English is the most spoken language in the world followed by Mandarin, then Hindustan and in fourth is Spanish


Yes I was talking about native speakers. While I believe Formula 1 is a truly international sport where cultural, political and language barriers are often crossed or simply ignored, cultural allegiances still run deep for many people, particularly in sport.

Since F1 is very popular in Europe and South America where native speakers of Latin/Romance languages are a large part of the population, it makes sense that a Spanish, Italian or Portuguese athlete will be more marketable than, for example, Ole Einar Bjørndalen who is arguably one of the best athletes who ever lived.

Never heard of him? Probably because he is a Norwegian biathlete, and so not exactly a large blip on the world cultural radar, even though his accomplishments and relative longevity arguably outshines Alonso’s career and perhaps even Schumacher’s:


I am sorry James but this post is meaningless if not misleading. Neither you nor rupecom (who within the market research industry are virtually unknown and I know as I have worked in it for 12 years)state any base sizes for this research. If as claimed in other comments this research was conducted with an overall base size of 500 then statistically the results are insignificant. I know it is great for a website or a journalist to use some figures out of “independent” market research, but please not like this.


I am surprsed this was deemed worthy of an article at all.

F1 is not Big Brother, we don’t get to vote drivers out of the sport.


You can’t speak for all in Africa- gbenga. Many of us here support drivers other than Lewis. Alonso and Kimi command high respect and support here. In Cape Town there is a huge following…


is cape townjjp not just a town as the name suggests and is africa not a continent? how do you know how many people follow which driver in a single town let alone a whole continent? did you find this information from a website survey?


Felipe Massa is more popular/marketable than Kimi ???

I’ll take that with a big helping of Saxa extra strength sea salt. Bad for the heart, but there you go…

Actually RK is the only one listed here who fronted a high profile international ad campaign recently.


Do Alonso and trust go together in the same sentence? Surely even the most ardent Alonso fan would have to concede he isn’t amongst the most trustworthy figures in the sport!


Top 5 UK Celebrity DBI Score/Awareness

1. Jenson Button 82.87 – 88.58%

2. Lewis Hamilton 81.69 – 90.74%

Jenson’s percentage score is lower than Lewis’s yet the former outranks the latter? I’m confused.


Don’t worry, there are many products out there that can help to ease your confusion and make your life better.

Marketability survey successful 🙂


Way off topic here, but I find it extremely amusing how every pundit/team/driver is saying how they don’t know what’s going to happen this first race/this season, yet there are more and more ‘F1 2014 grid prediction’ and ‘The pecking order for F1 2014’. Autosport have a new article everyday. Stop wasting your time and wait and see. All we know is Merc have the best engine


Merc 1-2 is paying $5.50 in Australia, get in quick!


5th most marketable . Apparently kimi is a right nutter on his days off doing crazy stuff. I have never seen any evidence of this though. Maybe he’s big in marketing sleep related products.


Karaoke, Boating with gorilla suits, skiing.. Kimi knows how to enjoy himself 😉


i don’t understand how they got these figures. what i know is mclaren took over hamilton’s website to sell merchandise but they never took over button’s to do the same. does that mean mclaren don’t know much about marketing? or may be it’s because button is involved in triathlon and the santander advertisements.


er no, I suspect it meant that Hamilton wanted to use his website to sell merchandise while Button did not.

You seriously believe that Hamilton made no money from Mclaren advertising on his site. If you do, then you must think he’s an idiot.


Alonso most recognised maybe but trusted you must be joking, the biggest scandal in sport will come out one day when his involement in the singapore crash gate is revealed, watch his star fall then !


If Vettel was British, he would be regarded the best driver ever, since he’s German, I guess the car is like “Knight Rider’s” Kitt

I always supported Hamilton from 2008 up until last year, but consistent comments from him about Vettel ruining the sport, and a few days ago saying “This is the year you need to watch F1”, only because he apparently has the best car, ruined it for me

Even when I wanted to dislike Vettel for winning race after race, I couldn’t such was his humor and character o tough situations (like booing)

Red Bull will fix their issues in a few races, but they won’t win the WC, because of the Renault engine.

Renault has inherent problems that, due to frozen updates, will only be truly solved next year, and thus only start being competitive in two years time

Even if I get slightly pleased if Hamilton wins the World Championship, I look forward to see Vettel again showing his value

So, it’s because of the above and stats like this, that I’m now officially a Vettel fan!!!


If those were the reasons you stopped supporting Lewis, then just come out and tell the truth … you have never supported Lewis ever! Its allowed … you don’t have to give excuses 😉


My friend even when everyone, including British, was bashing Lewis in the 2011 season, I always stood behind him, so please don’t try and give me lectures

I guess you can change your car, house, job, friends, girlfriend, wife, political party, religion, nationality and even sex if you’re not happy, but you can’t change the driver you support when you no longer identify with him, right???

Grow up!!!


Jackie and Jimmy are (were) British.

If they were English, one would be

anointing them the greatest ever.


But they are two of the all time great, and righteously so. I have more praise for them than for Schumacher, but that shouldn’t mean Schumacher isn’t one of the all time greats either, should it?

On the opposite side, Vettel is consistently regarded just as a regular driver, but happens to have the best British designed car ever.

And this is not to mention he’s treated almost like the Antichrist of F1, the destroyer of the sport. Does this seem fair to you?

What makes it even more sad it’s that Vettel has a huge knowledge and respect for F1 history, not to mention he loves British culture, and you people go on and treat him like trash

I always gave Vettel credit for what he’s achieved, but I never wanted to support him, because you see, I’m from Portugal, and we aren’t exacly fans of Germany (austerity), but I truly hate injustice!!!


Yeah. Magic. Anyway, my post was all about

how most folk reckon “British” equals English.

Mistress of Speed


You’ve changed allegiance because of the headline of the most recent Lewis ‘news’ item posted on the Mercedes F1 site.



And you’d be: “slightly pleased” if Lewis wins the DWC this year because, let me get this right, you’re now a Vettel fan!



Not before you read the headline of the news item!

Amazing! The power of a headline!


Did you read my post???

Mistress of Speed



While I actually like him a lot I can’t quite reconcile the word trust with a person who was very actively involved in a spying scandal and the manipulation of a race result through a crash amongst other things.


I think Brazil’s population skewed these results in Massa’s favor. From a marketng perspective, it makes more sense to look at the popularity of driver’s from a country’s perspective, or the region that the company is targetting.

Would also be interesting to see which drivers are the most popular in asia, as there aren’t any asian drivers on the grid.


Well apparently you havent noticed, but in China and Japan no other driver is as popular as Kimi ;)…For some reason especially in Japan, Finnish drivers have always been popular

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