Vodafone, Red Bull and Santander: the brands driving motorsport forward

Vodafone, Red Bull and Santander are among the non-automotive brands seeing the advantage of reaching a young male-dominated and highly engaged audience at racing tracks across the world.

Red Bull has targeted this audience and successfully aligned itself with sporting heroes. The brand's Formula 1 team, Red Bull Racing, has won both the drivers' championship and the constructors' championship for the past three years.

Brands such as BlackBerry, Vodafone and Santander are now heavyweights on the racetrack alongside brands more traditionally associated with cars and auto sports such as Mercedes, Ferrari and Pirelli.

At the UK's annual Silverstone Grand Prix, these brands are reaching a live audience of more than 294,000 attendees over the three-day event. TV viewing figures take this figure into the millions.

The benefits to the sport are clear; with huge upfront costs meaning sponsorship is often the only way for teams to make it to competing level.

Tom Webb, head of communications for Caterham F1 Team said: "Without sponsorship, as F1 has had for something like 50 years, the sport probably wouldn't exist."

Andreas Sigl, global director of F1 at Nissan's luxury car marquee Infiniti, said Red Bull has used its brand sponsorship for mass brand exposure.

Speaking at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, he said: "They saw this as a way of gaining great global exposure for their brand."

Watch the full report by Joel Fothergill above, including interviews with drivers René Arnoux and Guy Smith as well as Tom Webb, the head of communications for Malaysian-owned Formula 1 team Caterham F1, and Pascal Couason, the director of Michelin Motorsport.


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