November 4th, 2020

Eddy Sidani

Content Marketing Specialist, SponsorPulse

Analyzing sponsorship opportunities for F1 teams in global markets

Using our platform, we sifted through the data on Formula One's ten teams to see how they compare as sponsorship properties across some of the largest international markets.

For the first time since 2006, Formula One has returned to the storied Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari – better known in the racing community as the historic Imola. As was anticipated, Mercedes came out on top, but are they as dominant when assessed through the lens of sponsorship opportunity? We sifted through the data to see how the ten different constructors compare across some of the largest international markets.

Scuderia Ferrari ranks highest among constructors

While Mercedes have dominated the podium over the past few years, there is no denying the salience that the oldest and most successful Formula One team has among race consumers. Ferrari have a symbiotic relationship with Formula One racing, as each organization has played a significant role in the others’ existence. Formula One racing remains a major form of engagement for people with the Ferrari brand, and anyone who thinks of a Formula One event will struggle to do so without also picturing the Rosso Corsa and the ‘Prancing Horse’ of the Ferrari logo. This constructor has cemented itself as a key player in the field and finds itself among the most popular among the motorsport community.

Using SponsorPulse's universal, insight-driven Opportunity Score currency, ten Formula One teams were measured and compared to see how they matched up in different global markets. In 12 of the 18 markets, Ferrari achieved the best Opportunity Score. The geography where the team presents the greatest opportunity for sponsorship is understandably in Italy, with an Opportunity Score of 53. This is the highest Opportunity Score for any team in any market. Ferrari also have major partnership opportunities in Colombia (45), South Africa (40), Brazil (38) and Spain (35). For brands looking to associate themselves with the most synonymous name in Formula One racing, Ferrari is the way to go.

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Analyzing sponsorship opportunities for F1 teams in global markets

The home-team variable

As in any sport, there is a tendency for race fans to support their hometown or local teams. For example, soccer fans who live in and around the city of Turin, Italy will most likely find themselves supporting Juventus. Canadian basketball fans are likely to support the Toronto Raptors because they are the only Canadian franchise competing in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Similarly, in Formula One we find that local constructors present the greatest sponsorship opportunity for brands in their respective countries. As mentioned earlier, Ferrari is the number one team in Italy with an Opportunity Score of 53. In France, the first place ranking belongs to Renault with a SponsorPulse Opportunity Score of 17.

Race fans are also invested in the drivers of the teams and often become larger fans of the racers than the teams they drive for. In Germany, the two top Opportunity Scores belong to Ferrari (19) and Mercedes (19). Mercedes, a German-origin entrant, have dominated the podium over recent years and asserted themselves as a key-player in motorsport.

One of the likely reasons that Germans are also fond of Ferrari is because Michael Schumacher -widely regarded as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time - raced for the Italian constructor for the majority of his career.

As for the greatest to ever do it, British driver Lewis Hamilton is a major reason why Mercedes generates the highest sponsorship opportunity in the UK. With Mercedes having arguably one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport behind the wheel in Hamilton, who recently ranked 21st in SportsPro’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes list, the team achieved a SponsorPulse Opportunity Score of 24 in his homeland.

Another example of a racer driving traction for their team in their home country can be seen in Australia. Daniel Ricciardo, racing under the Australian flag, is likely responsible for the country's high interest in Red Bull (14), Renault (12) and McLaren (14).

Haas and AlphaTauri battle to avoid last place

In any competitive atmosphere, there are those who will be crowned champions and victors and then there are those who are less successful and show great room for improvement. Although the SponsorPulse platform does not serve the main purpose of ranking properties, we certainly enjoy doing so.

While constructors like Ferrari and Mercedes are continuously ranked among the top motorsport properties, the same cannot be said for Haas and AlphaTauri (formerly known as Toro Rosso). The respective American and Italian race teams generate the lowest SponsorPulse Opportunity Scores in 13 of the 18 largest markets in the world.

With an Opportunity Score of five in Canada and France, AlphaTauri records the lowest opportunity (or greatest room for improvement) of any team in any of the global markets measured. In fact, AlphaTauri’s greatest opportunity is in Colombia where they achieved a SponsorPulse Opportunity Score of 18.

Haas, the hopeful American constructor, shows greatest potential in India where they record an Opportunity Score of 15; unfortunately, this ties them with AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo as the teams with the lowest scores in the country. With increased marketing efforts and more podium finishes, there is surely no reason why these teams cannot see a rise in their Opportunity Scores.

McLaren showing great promise in Europe

The SponsorPulse Opportunity Score is generated through a proprietary algorithm that takes into consideration seven key behaviour, emotion, and impact metrics. One of the key metrics that measures behaviour intent is Momentum, defined as the percentage of those engaged who expect their interest in the property to increase over the next 12 months. Understanding that this metric is a great indicator of growth and potential for sponsors, we wanted to look at one team that continues to trend in the right direction - McLaren.

Led by British driver Lando Norris and the Spaniard Carlos Sainz, McLaren find themselves challenging for third place in the tightly contested 2020 Formula One constructors' standings. They also rank third behind Ferrari and Mercedes in the Momentum category across all European markets.

McLaren shows great potential in Europe as a valuable partner for those looking to sponsor a motorsport property that is trending upwards. McLaren's Momentum is highest in the UK and Spain, as almost one in four people who engage with the property claim they expect their interest in McLaren to increase over the next year. In the other large European markets, the British team achieves Momentum percentages of between 16 per cent and 19 per cent. Signing Daniel Ricciardo for the 2021 season should also provide a boost in interest for the team.

With a disrupted 2020 season nearing its finish, brands and properties are likely beginning to plan for next year, anticipating more innovation than ever before. After the Covid-19 pandemic threw many activation strategies for a loop, marketing managers will surely be prepared with more contingency plans than ever before. SponsorPulse data accurately represents the consumer's voice and provides insight on international properties across the globe. To learn more about how SponsorPulse can help your sponsorship strategy, visit!

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