Five Ways To… supercharge your F1 sponsorship

F1 sponsorship – Oli Richards

This month we at Paddock magazine have looked at some of the less-talked-about opportunities for sponsors in Formula 1 and why they should be a part of every sponsor’s activation plan in 2016. We have Oli Richards, Head of Marketing at Synergy, to give us five hints on how to supercharge your Formula 1 sponsorship.

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  1. Find a unique story and tell it.

Differentiation is about thinking beyond the obvious. In Formula 1 we see the brands consistently focusing on the same tried and tested territories – speed, technology, precision etc. – tell the same story as everyone else and you risk blending in with the crowd. Find your white space and own it – that’s the starting point for a campaign that everyone will remember.

  1. Don’t activate your rights, activate a campaign.

Too often, brands in Formula 1 focus on how to use the rights they’ve been given. For us, rights are the last part of the puzzle. Lead with a big idea that’s consistent with your audience, your brand and the sponsorship you’ve signed. Once the big idea is nailed, work out which channels you’re going to use to activate it and ONLY then consider the rights you need to make it happen. Sponsors too often get bogged down on the detail and lose sight of the bigger picture. Be single-minded about what you want to achieve and use the sport of Formula 1 as the vehicle to deliver it.

  1. Capitalise on the growing appeal of a Formula 1 lifestyle.

In a world where moments are captured and shared in an instant, the previously closed behind-the-scenes world of Formula 1 has opened up to the masses. Drivers like Lewis Hamilton are global superstars both on and off the track and fans can’t get enough. Despite this though, brands still focus 90% of their activity at the track, leaving the excitement that spills out into the host cities for the few who are lucky enough to be there to share.

What does that say about your brand if you simply follow the tried-and-tested model?

  1. All eyes are on the track but all the talk is on social.

The birth of social media has led to increased democratisation in Formula 1 meaning the social buzz on a race weekend has grown exponentially over the last 5 years. Fans are interacting with each other, the teams they support and the drivers they love in real time, which has led to the sort of access that was once only enjoyed by those sipping champagne in the paddock. The opportunities for brands to tap into the vast conversation online has so far been underexploited with many still focused on the few in track hospitality, rather than the many engaged online. Authenticity is still the king, of course. Some of the best case studies in exactly this can be found in other sports – whether it’s RBS producing simple engaging content which reflects the mood of rugby fans during the RBS 6 Nations or the lightning-quick insights created and tweeted by IBM during Wimbledon, the power of social media in sport is unarguable, Formula 1 is no different.

  1. Innovate. Innovate. Innovate.

Formula 1 is one of the most innovative sports on the planet, yet consistently we see sponsors playing it safe. Be inspired by the sport you’ve invested so heavily in, embrace new technology, re-invent the sponsorship rights model and don’t be afraid to try something that’s never been done before. Brands that innovate their sponsorship are more likely to be seen as innovative themselves – what does that say about your brand if you simply follow the tried-and-tested model?

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