Formula 1 is racing into the winner’s circle with major advertisers and titans of industry as the wildly popular global sport gains traction with fans in the US, sources tell On The Money.
Fresh off the success of last month’s glitzy F1 race in Miami, and ahead of this weekend’s marquee event in Monaco, US advertisers are jumping aboard the speeding bandwagon like it was the Super Bowl.
“It’s the difference between hot dogs and pretzels as opposed to caviar and champagne,” a source said of the difference between the Super Bowl and F1. “Formula 1 is associated with glamour and Monaco and celebrities, as opposed to football, which is simply the great American sport.”
Long-suffering US-based fans credit the sport’s surge in popularity in this country to the Netflix smash hit “Drive to Survive,” which helped put a face on the helmeted drivers and their behind-the-scenes drama.
The show, now in its fifth season, was the most-watched Netflix series in the U.S. and 32 other countries. An upcoming Grand Prix film with Brad Pitt will also help put F1’s popularity into overdrive.
Not only does F1 have a global following, the sport is also designed to create endless sponsorships.
Companies can sponsor an entire season globally or pick one race car team to partner with. Global sponsors this year include AWS, Salesforce, Rolex, and DHL and team sponsors include AT&T, Microsoft, Ritz Carlton, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Coca Cola, Walmart.
Formula 1 now has more financial partners and sponsors from the U.S. than it does from its historically most important partners: England, Italy, Switzerland, German and France, according to data from Spomotion Analytics.
The sport allows advertisers and celebrities greater opportunities to schmooze with the F1 stars than basketball and football provide.
The race spans three days instead of three hours — there is practice day, qualifying day, and race day, which means there are three nights worth of parties.
The global glitterati seem to be lapping it up.
During the Miami Grand Prix, moguls like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt, Ken Griffin and David Solomon hobnobbed at private clubs and restaurants, including pop ups by Big Apple hot spots Carbone and Zero Bond. MAXIM, GQ, LIV and Tommy Hilfiger all hosted parties as well.
Another F1 event races into Las Vegas in November, and expectations from F1 insiders are that the three-day event in Sin City will generate the type of revenue – and buzz – associated with the NFL’s premiere event.
The NFL suggests the Super Bowl can bring a host city between $300 million and $500 million, but economists say the range is between $30 million and $130 million.
Last year’s Miami F1 generated $350 million for the city, according to South Florida Motorsports. Figures for this year were not available..