Andreas Sigl, Global Director of Infiniti Formula 1, shares his insights about their friendship with Red Bull.
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Now at the end of our third season, it’s a very strong partnership delivering business results for us on many levels. Our primary objective has always been to build global awareness, and as title partner, we are on our way to hitting $1bn in global media value this year alone.
Beyond name awareness, we’re shaping opinion as a premium performance brand and we are seeing a clear shift in our global markets. This has been helped by our strong brand values of performance, precision, passion and provocation – all of which are shared by Infiniti Red Bull Racing. Like us, they are a challenger brand and it is this synergy, which has been the key to our success together.
Our technical partnership is also growing. We’ve been working with the team on a number of workstreams and the F1 cars are already using Infiniti road car technologies including magnesium parts and gear ratio treatments. These are just the tip of the iceberg though, and with the technical regulations changing in 2014, these should open the door to further technical collaborations. One key activity next year will be the Infiniti Performance Engineering Academy – a global search for hot new engineering talent to win a work placement with the team.
We’ve also been working very closely with Sebastian Vettel this year and at the start of the season announced him as our Director of Performance. This has seen him taking a key role in the development of our road cars including the new Infiniti Q50 and recently announced Q30. He’s has travelled the world this year meeting our various engineering teams, test driving products and giving feedback.
Results? A billion-dollar season in terms of media exposure, all of our global markets fully engaged in the program, new touchpoints and opportunities via the title partnership and a shift in global opinion.
Red Bull style
We have a lot of synergies and shared values so it works well. We are both challengers – relatively new, provocative brands that have come in to shake up the establishment in our respective fields. They have matured from ‘the party team’ who perhaps weren’t taken seriously at first, to become the top team in F1 with four consecutive world championships. This was attractive to us, and after dating for two seasons we got married in 2013 as title partner, so there is still lots more to do together.
Our work provides endless possibilities for creativity. F1 is a fast-moving environment and this means we have to move much faster than the standard corporate speed and introduce creativity every step of the way. There are so many touchpoints; branding, merchandise, hospitality, events, content – and we challenge each one of them. From the ‘pit perch’ chairs the team sit on in the pitlane and the design of the Paddock Club suite, to the world first events we’ve done and provocative content, we look at all our activations through a creative lens.
Problems and results
The need to work at F1 speed within a large corporation can be a key challenge in terms of getting decisions made quickly. In addition, with new people starting all the time and different areas of the business constantly evolving, stakeholder management is a consideration.
Results? A billion-dollar season in terms of media exposure, all of our global markets fully engaged in the program, new touchpoints and opportunities via the title partnership and a shift in global opinion. It’s been a very strong year for the partnership and there is much more to come.
There is still huge potential for our technical partnership in terms of technical collaborations with the race team, so this is one key area we are exploring. From a communications point of view, one key job will be simplifying this technical story to engage the mainstream audience.
Our objective for the next season is to further engage the internal organisation upstream (product planning) and downstream (point of sale/dealers).