Independent Studies


Sponsor Loyalty Left by Roadside

A study conducted by Performance Research Europe, at the 2000 British F1 Grand Prix, suggests sponsors must do more to earn brand loyalty.

Picture the scene? Silverstone, July 1999 the ?RAC British Grand Prix?, fuelled by the imminent departure of English hero Damon Hill, Benson & Hedges engulf sunny Silverstone with a sea of yellow flags, with ?Buzzin? Hornets? logos everywhere. During spontaneous sponsor awareness questioning, Benson & Hedges was the most frequently mentioned sponsor (83%). Other sponsors including Marlboro (52%) and West (24%) were left in their wake.

Now, picture this? Silverstone, April 2000 the ‘Foster?s British Grand Prix, swamped in mud with almost one-half (45%) of attendees suggesting the British Grand Prix would be improved if it were returned to July and roughly one-fourth of attendees (24%) demanding improvements to the car parks. The most frequently recalled sponsor during spontaneous awareness questioning is Foster?s (46%), followed by new Arrows team sponsor Orange (41%). Benson & Hedges, last years most frequently mentioned sponsor, is only reported by roughly one-third (39%) of race attendees. Phew, what a difference a year makes!

So why did Benson & Hedges do so well during unaided sponsor awareness questioning last year? Maybe it was because they had a number of highly visible and memorable on-site activities. These included give-aways, (Buzzin? Hornets temporary tattoos!), driving simulators and prize draws, which enabled Benson & Hedges to communicate with F1 fans in an entertaining and relevant way.

What caused such a big drop in unaided awareness? Well, judging by the aided recall level (98%) almost everyone knows Benson & Hedges is a F1 sponsor, but it seems that at the 2000 British Grand Prix Benson & Hedges struggled to recreate last years ?top of mind? awareness.

This year there was a noticeable scaling down in on-site sponsorship activity, with less emphasis on interaction and entertainment and more emphasis on selling merchandise. In essence there was less activity and a greater reliance on passive sponsorship methods such as signage. The couple of exceptions being Orange and Jaguar, but neither were able to dominate like Benson & Hedges did the previous year.

Last year Benson & Hedges, along with many others, successfully augmented their sponsorship relationship with F1 using well planned and relevant on-site activities. Jed Pearsall, Managing Director of Performance Research believes “This was sponsorship working well, using physical interaction between B&H and fans to form an emotional connection, without a trace of cynical commercialism. Such activity improves corporate image and ultimately facilitates brand loyalty.”

Studies by Performance Research, conducted in America over the last 14 years, show incredible results, on average almost three-fourths (72%) of NASCAR fans report they would ?Almost always? or ?Frequently? choose the brand or product associated with their sport. Among attendees at the 2000 British Grand Prix this figure is less than one-third (29%). In fact, two-fifths (40%) indicated they would ?Almost never? choose the sponsors product ahead of the non-sponsors product.

The fans? loyalty to F1 racing, however, is unquestioned, despite the weather and police roadblocks many F1 fans still arrived at Silverstone, often abandoning their cars on the roadside and walking for several miles. Unfortunately, this loyalty to their sport does not often extend to loyalty toward the sponsors. Unless sponsors start to add more value to their sponsorship activity and begin to provide fans with reasons to display loyalty, the full benefits of sponsorship may never be fully realised.

Staff from Performance Research Europe randomly intercepted and interviewed in person, two hundred and one (201) attendees throughout the race weekend of the Foster?s British Grand Prix, April 22-23rd 2000. The margin of error is no more than 5%.

Full List of Independent Studies

United States Studies
BP Oil Spill Ramifications

Consumer attitudes to the oil giant and its marketing

Big Three Still Dominate

Study of Olympic sponsorship at Vancouver

Times Square Advertising: Is it over-the-top or top-of-mind?

A look at how visitors connect to the commercial clutter of Times Square.

At the Olympics, Less May Be More

Study of Olympic sponsorship at Sydney

Americans Welcome Return of Formula 1

Study of sponsorship at the Indianapolis US Formula One Grand Prix

Sponsors Still Live Dream Despite Scandal Nightmare

Consumer attitudes to the Olympics following Salt Lake City Scandal

Picture This: “The Official Sports Drink of the …….. Symphony?”

Consumer attitudes toward corporate sponsorship of the arts

Watch Out For The Ambush 1996

Study of Olympic sponsorship (Atlanta)

Winners and Whiners

Indy Car Study

Loyal NASCAR Fans Please Stand Up

Racestat: a comprehensive analysis of the NASCAR audience

Olympics, What Olympics? Sponsors, What Sponsors

Study of Olympic sponsorship (Lillehammer)

AT&T Win Official Race With Sprint

Study of Olympic sponsorship (Barcelona)

Winter Olympic Viewers “Can’t Beat the Feeling”

Study of Olympic sponsorship (Albertville)

Naming Rights, Naming Wrongs

Consumer reaction to sponsorship of arenas and stadiums

Europe Studies
The Wild, Wild East? Sponsorship in Poland

Study explores attitudes to corporate sponsorship among Poles.

Why Do American Formula One Fans Value Sponsors?

Compares and contrasts opinions of visitors to both the 2000 US and 2000 British Formula One Grand Prix.

HOWZAT!! For Sponsorship

UK cricket sponsorship – beyond awareness

British Football Fans Can’t Recall Euro 2000 Sponsors

Research into sponsorship effectiveness at Euro

Caution Flags Fly as CART Set for New Arrival

Attitudes of F1 racing fans to the introduction of US motorsports in Britain

Sponsor Loyalty Left by Roadside

Research at the British F1 Grand Prix

Sponsors Find Home in Dome

Millennium Dome sponsorship awareness study

American Companies Welcome As Smoke Clears From F1

Research among European Formula 1 Grand Prix

Rugby World Cup Findings Are Black And White

Research at the Rugby World Cup