The Formula One teams who are leading the pack on social engagement

Formula One

The most marketable Formula One teams and drivers may not necessarily be those at the front of the pack, according to new research from Digital sports engagement agency WePlay.

As the viewing habits of younger audiences continue to shift to digital, the value of engagement across social is becoming increasingly significant for sponsors and rights holders within Formula One and sport in general.

London-based agency WePlay has partnered with social video analysts Burst Insights to rank the Formula One teams and drivers who are the most efficient in driving engagement across social media.

The research is intended to highlight where the value and opportunity lies for sponsors and rights holders who are increasingly looking for ways to monetise video content. The rankings are based on the engagement across Twitter, Instagram and Vine.

Discussing the impetus of the research, WePlay’s client services director, Kenny Ager, said: “Both sides of our client portfolio are demanding more experience in video content marketing and the expertise to exploit commercial value from it. For our sponsor clients like Yokohama, video content enables us to tell new value adding stories to sports fans around the world while helping our reach on video focused social platforms like Facebook."

The findings show that, despite the underwhelming seasons that McLaren has endured in recent seasons, the team remains at the front of the pack when it comes to engaging with audiences across social. Likewise, Swiss team Sauber ranks fourth on the list, ahead of Red Bull, despite not having a single point so far in the 2016 season.

Ager added: “For rights holders, it’s about consumer attention. Rights holders are seeing a 20-36 per cent drop off in TV viewing consumption among the under 34 year-old audience segment vs. just five years ago. As social media platforms continue to divert this attention, rights holders need to maintain interest and engagement through short form video within the platforms their sports fans love to be on.

“The challenge for teams in F1 and across sport is to understand what the optimum fuel is to drive higher reach and engagement on these social platforms to drive fan engagement. Then to package their commercial rights in a way that delivers better value for brands and sponsors seeking the same engagement for their brand. This is something we help our clients to navigate and optimise.”

Burst Insights chief executive, Mike Litman, commented: “F1 broadcast coverage is sponsor heavy and through this Index we are cutting through the noise to confirm which teams are at the front of the grid, not just on the track but in the short social video race. The fan engagement thus far on the likes of Instagram, Twitter and Vine is largely an untapped revenue opportunity for both the teams, drivers and ultimately the FIA and we believe we can help make sense of the opportunity using our unparalleled data discovery and video pattern recognition technology.”

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Tony Connelly

I cover media, marketing and sponsorship news within the sports industry. This includes breaking news as well as writing feature pieces with insights from experts in the sports marketing world.

All by Tony