Finding the right formula

F1's sponsors believe that in F100 they have established a forum that will benefit all.

Last Wednesday (1 September), Formula One's leading sponsors gathered for the inaugural meeting of the F100 club, an organisation established to promote and represent the collective voice of the motorsport's biggest brands.

While F1 teams have been represented by the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) for years, the sport's sponsors have not had a unified body to represent them until now.

'Wherever Formula One goes around the world, everyone from teams, fans and sponsors is in one venue at one time. So a community already exists, yet the sponsors haven't had an opportunity to have their voices heard,' says Robin Fenwick. His sponsorship consultancy, Right Formula, developed F100 in partnership with event organiser Motorsport Business Forum and trade publication Formula Money.

'The sport is made up of a variety of associations and organisations,' adds Fenwick. 'Its decision-makers simply can't consult everybody about every change they make, as it would take forever, but by coming together as a group, brands now have the chance to speak as one, where previously, individual voices may have been lost.'

F100 will meet three times a year, with the minutes sent to F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone for review. Ahead of the London forum, brands submitted topics that they wished to discuss. These ranged from how the sponsors could benefit from greater global online exposure to investigating potential corporate hospitality solutions in Formula One.

Broader potential

Sponsors in other arenas will be watching the development of F100 with interest. 'I could see it being extremely desirable for sponsors in other sports,' says Pippa Collett, managing director of Sponsorship Consulting.

'LOCOG (the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) hold regular sponsor meetings to encourage brands to work together. It also helps raise issues that they would not want to in a one-to-one meeting with the rights-holder,' she adds.

Collett argues that rights-holders will also welcome sponsors clubs like F100, where they believe they have sold particularly attractive packages. However, those that may have oversold to partners will be more wary.

'It's a balance of power,' she says. 'The divide-and-conquer strategy has been adopted by some rights-holders in UK sports for years, but collaborative efforts are more likely to deliver better results. Where some football clubs may encourage their sponsors to sit down together, others may be less likely to want them to mix with sponsors of other clubs where they could potentially get better value for money.'

At each F100 meeting, four sponsors will be asked to present case studies to delegates. Shell, LG and SAP will be leading the charge in London.

While some, such as Shell, have been in the sport for more than 20 years, the regular forums will also include newcomers like UBS, which first became a sponsor last month. Those with long traditions in F1 can impart wisdom to newcomers, but are also likely to benefit themselves from hearing a fresh perspective.

Following the first F100 meeting, sponsors were asked to submit a one-page case study of a successful F1 marketing campaign. These will now be bound and given to each delegate at the following forum and will act as a Formula One 'marketing bible'.

'Members of F100 collectively have a vast amount of marketing experience, which can only be of benefit to the sport as a whole,' says Fenwick. 'It's a bit like creating a marketing arm for Formula One Management (the company that controls the sport) - it will help generate concepts.'

F100 should prove beneficial for sponsors from both a business-acquisition and a joint-promotional perspective. 'At no previous time have brands felt comfortable about speaking to sponsors from other teams. In this environment, everyone can talk to everybody else, and we will actively encourage openness,' adds Fenwick.

While F100 has been set up by sponsors for sponsors, the organisation's benefits could prove more far-reaching as brands share ideas and work collaboratively. The learnings they take from future F100 meetings should enable sponsors to deliver more for the teams they support, the fans and the sport as a whole.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer