New approaches in sponsorship

The world of F1 sponsorship is changing; gone are the days of a brand associating with the sport because it’s a passion of the CEO and subsequently a large logo would be slapped on the side of a car, an overall or ‘creatively’ placed around a Formula One circuit to achieve television exposure. ‘Return on Investment’ is constantly referred to by decision-makers, whilst independent research and intelligent evaluation tools are used on a daily basis to monitor the performance of the investment.

Paddock Magazine spoke to Robin Fenwick, Founder and Managing Director of Right Formula, to ask him why his company was enjoying such incredible success.

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Right Formula, one of the youngest sports marketing agencies in the industry, but are leading the charge when it comes to sponsorship activation in Formula 1 and it’s not difficult to see why. They have recruited some of the finest sponsorship experts in the sport who not only have the experience of working with various stakeholders in Formula 1, but are highly motivated to do things differently and ensure people take notice. This doesn’t involve regurgitating old marketing initiatives but delivering fresh and innovative activities to suit the specific objectives of the brand in question and deliver the necessary results to help justify the partnership. As a result, the size of their business has doubled each and every year Right Formula have existed and in 2013 it’s due to treble; no mean feat for a company that has no sales team and has grown simply through word of mouth.

‘To us, it’s never been about the size of the partnership we enter into, it’s about delivering significant returns and achieving a long term sustainable relationship both with ourselves and the Rights Holder. Over the past few years, we have helped big brands evolve from simply gaining ‘brand exposure’, who were convinced it would drive sales, but had no proof. Today we don’t take anything for granted, we work closely with our clients to ensure that key messages are delivered to their audience in a manner that matters to them and tracks the results carefully, adapting along the way if required. Often this comes in the form of ‘storytelling’ via tailored content which gives something back to the audience and builds a strong affinity with the brand in the process; as opposed to a forced sponsor message which often has an adverse effect.”

Fenwick continues: “In addition, there are two areas that are not typically maximised in a brand’s sponsorship programme; exploring F1 Business to Business opportunities and Internal Communication. Given the years of experience we have in the industry and the relationships various members of our team hold, we try to set up structured B2B meetings at or around the race circuits to explore mutually beneficial opportunities; this isn’t anything new but is often overlooked and if conducted in the right way can justify the entire partnership with one B2B success. We realize that business won’t simply be generated because two corporations have a Formula 1 association, however, given the volume of C-Level executives attending Grands Prix in a relaxed environment, the chances of a deal being done is far greater than would ordinarily be possible if a member of the Sales team called someone in a Procurement Department.

Ensuring that all employees are touched and motivated by their company’s Formula 1 partnership is equally important and if used correctly it can ensure that a sponsorship achieves its full potential and significantly improves productivity within certain departments… either by providing tiered incentives or by taking the intelligence out of Formula 1 and using it to best effect within their respective companies. This not only refers to revenue being generated but also cost savings”, Robin notes.

Like any successful sport, the sponsorship marketplace is crowded and brands need to implement an activity that sets themselves apart from the rest. It appears Right Formula is doing just that as they help blue chips brands involved in Formula 1 achieve their goals, and in turn, build their own reputation as a company that truly delivers.

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