In Motor Racing, Sport Sponsorship, Sports Marketing

Any corporate marketing and communication initiative is by now agreed to be closely linked to the world of digital and social media. This is one aspect that any company wishing to establish an emotional bond with the audience should take into account when sponsoring a team or an athlete because this is where positive surprises begin!

All sports stars are supported by a large number of followers, and Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, just to mention the most popular social media used by our favorites, often reach out to an incredible number of people.

Advantages for sponsors

The great reach on social media always goes hand in hand with great supplementary benefits. This is why it is good practice to support the sponsorship with digital initiatives that are included in the sponsorship agreement and to have an editorial calendar.

At the same time, it is equally true, although hard to plan – which is what makes it even more authentic and appreciated by the audience -, that our favorites are going to frequently post personal photographs where they are in action and showing their fan base the brands of the involved companies, thus expanding their visibility and often triggering a virtuous circle of reposting and retweeting, which leads to a huge level of sharing.

Let’s take MotoGP and its riders as an instance and let’s try to draft an aggregate ranking of the reach that the Teams and the Riders have. The ranking is updated as of 13.12.2018 and it is in constant evolution I will sum up the followers of both the team and the two riders on the different platforms in order to give full visibility of the phenomenon under investigation. Finally, I will also add the ranking of the most popular Italian newspapers in order to make a comparison with the press. The result is easily calculated with this data at hand!

Reach of MotoGP Teams / Riders in the social media considered:  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.

  • Yamaha Monster Riders: Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales – Total followers  24,617,367
  • HRC Repsol Honda Riders: Marquez and Lorenzo – Total followers  18,642,177
  • Ducati Mission Winnow Riders: Dovizioso and Petrucci – Total followers  8,070,031
  • Aprilia Riders: Iannone and Espargaro – Total followers  5,226,585
  • KTM Red Bull Riders: Zarco and Espargaro – Total followers  4,030,830
  • KTM Tech3 Riders: Oliveira and Syahrin – Total followers  2,420,965
  • LCR Honda Team Riders: Crutchlow and Nakagami – Total followers  2,369,719
  • Pramac Alma Team Riders: Miller and Bagnaia – Total followers  1,451,084
  • Suzuki Riders: Alex Rins and Joan Mir – Total followers  1,052,207
  • Avintia Team Ducati Riders: Abraham and Rabat – Total followers  741,599
  • Petronas Yamaha Sic Rider team: Morbidelli and Quartararo – Total followers 723,296

Italian newspapers – Total dissemination (on paper and digital)

Needless to say, this reach can offer sponsors great benefits, as well as the opportunity to surf a higher wave of information, and what is more important, in a more efficient manner than with conventional media.

Sponsors will have the chance to target their prospective customers through non-invasive platforms, which the customers visit spontaneously, and without barriers to hinder the message they wish to pass on or remote controls to switch it off. 

One example?

The total circulation for the 15 most read newspapers in Italy, in September 2018, was 1,550,172 according to PrimaOnline – a fraction of the social each offered by many of the above.

An example can be seen with the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta Dello Sport, which has a reach of 147,812. It’s clear that if we want to talk with the sports fans that even the less prominent teams offer, the reach is very likely to be higher. If we have the resources to think big, Yamaha – with over 24 million followers for its two key riders – could work wonders for your sports sponsorship campaign.

We could repeat this exercise using the main newspapers of any country, or the key players in any sport that we’re interested in, and find similar results.

Clearly, such social reach can give great benefits for sports sponsorship. By choosing this route, sponsors can be involved in much larger communication flows more efficiently than if using traditional media

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Riccardo Tafà
Riccardo Tafà
Managing Director for RTR Sports, Riccardo graduated in law at the University of Bologna. He began his career in London in PR, then started working in two and four-wheelers. A brief move to Monaco followed before returning to Italy. There he founded RTR, first a consulting firm and then a sports marketing company which, eventually, he moved back to London.
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