Americans Welcome Return of Formula 1
With the Formula One tour revisiting the US for the first time in ten years, you might have expected visitors to the Indianapolis circuit to be curious motorsports fans, with no particular allegiance to Formula One. If you did, you would have been wrong. Despite a ten-year absence, America?s passion toward Formula One remains undiminished. An independent study* conducted by Performance Research suggests that real US Formula One fans exist.
In fact when the respondents were asked to rate their interest in Formula One on a scale of one to ten where ten is high, three-fourths (75%) gave Formula One either a ?9? or ?10? rating. So how did this compare to other established US motorsports? Well, roughly one-fourth (24%) awarded CART, a ?9? or ?10? rating, and fewer than one-fifth (15%) awarded NASCAR a ?9? or ?10? rating, indicating there is a unique Formula One audience in the US and not just a bi-product of interest in other US motorsports.
Moreover, almost all (91%) of the respondents reported watching Formula One on television during the past month, in contrast fewer than two-thirds (62%) reported watching CART. When respondents were asked to choose the statement which best described themselves, just over one-half (53%) chose the statement “I am a diehard Formula One fan and will attend as many races as I can. The remaining respondents expressed interest in other US motorsports.
With a US Formula One fan base clearly in place, how would the other big race pan out? The other race is of course, the battle of the sponsors.
During unaided awareness questioning, the most frequently mentioned sponsor was SAP (58%), followed by Marlboro (46%) and Mercedes (33%). When respondents were asked to identify sponsors from a list aided recall was high, with almost all (96%) of the respondents correctly identifying Mercedes, Jaguar (94%), Yahoo! (91%) and SAP (86%).
Further good news for SAP was the finding that over two-thirds (68%) of respondents correctly attributed them as the primary sponsor of the US Grand Prix.
The good news didn?t just stop at sponsor awareness. Almost two-thirds (63%) of fans believed Formula One sponsors have more interest in their customers than non-sponsors. Over one-half of US Formula One fans reported that they personally benefit from corporate sponsorship of Formula One. Just over one-third believed that sponsorship “Makes the race possible”.
Finally, when questioned about loyalty to sponsors products, over one-half of the respondents reported they would “Frequently” or “Almost always” preferentially choose a sponsors product, compared to a non-sponsors product. Not bad considering that ten-year absence!
*This independent study is intended to provide a “snap shot” of Formula One sponsorship. Typically proprietary research conducted by Performance Research is designed to look beyond “snapshot” data by measuring the incremental impact of a sponsorship program on the specific objectives of the sponsor.
Staff from Performance Research contacted 221 visitors to the Indianapolis, 2000 US Formula One Grand Prix to complete a short questionnaire. The margin of error for this sample is no more than + 7%.
Color reports covering the 2000 US Formula One Grand Prix and 2000 British Formula One Grand Prix are available to purchase.
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