Each year at the end of May, this year on May 26, some of the world’s leading companies all share one thing in common - a global cheering section. With three of the world’s largest motorsports series all competing on one day right next to each other, some brands will get nearly 12 hours of exposure to millions of engaged fans in F1's Monaco Grand Prix, IndyCar's Indianapolis 500, and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600.
It is not often people actively engage with your brand on the world’s biggest stages and in the most intense competitions. It is a cool concept and an exciting opportunity. We put this blog together (along with a downloadable infographic) so you can get a high-level view at the types of leading brands are involved in each series. Imagine being fully part of the team and fully engaged while bringing your business to life.
It’s motorsports sponsorship and it’s what we do.
Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco
09:10 - 11:10 est | Watch on ESPN
It is extraordinary when Formula 1 returns to the streets of Monaco each year. The Principality plays host to the series with one of the most unique circuits on the calendar in a screensaver-like setting. The event is known for its posh environment, perfect weather and glamorous itinerary. While admittedly the actual racing around this circuit is not as intense as others with limited overtaking, the spectacle of seeing such powerful cars driven on the edge at 180mph is nothing short of remarkable. The buzz of celebrity is intensified with the annual Cannes Film Festival happening concurrently just down the beach.
Besides the on-track activity, Monaco is usually the event where brands pull out all of the stops with their activation strategy. It is not uncommon for brands to rent yachts for the weekend to host their prospective customers, engage their current clients or maybe reward their employees with a special Saturday night party in the harbor. For the visuals alone, this is a great way to start your Sunday. Here are just a few of the leading brands you will see.
103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500
11:00 - 17:00 est | Watch on NBC
The Indy 500 is one of the most remarkable events that motorsports offers throughout the year. With a record-breaking 350,000 attendees on race day alone, it is the largest single-day sporting event in the world. The energy that comes with that many excited people is hard to ignore and the brands you see below all prepare something unique for the fans. The event is also regarded highly for the drivers and winning the race comes with a certain prestige that competes with winning even the entire season championship.
The city of Indianapolis welcomes the event every year with open arms. Your guests will know where they are from the moment they land at the airport to the drop of the green flag. For business purposes, this type of environment makes for a perfect platform to engage your VIP clients.
There is something special about being at the largest event in the world and being able to take your clients “behind the ropes” to places that no one else can buy. What we’re saying is: It is pretty cool to be standing on the grid of the Indy 500. It is also impossible to get there without the right partnerships.
18:00 - 22:00 est | Watch on FOX
The day finishes at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with the annual Coca-Cola 600, one of the few night races on the calendar. NASCAR is the most popular form of motorsport in the United States and commands a massive audience throughout the year - even with a recent shift in attendance and viewership numbers. NASCAR has long been fan-forward and allows access that many other properties across sports wouldn’t dream of.
It is scheduled so that drivers, teams and fans alike can roll right from the Indy 500 to the Coca-Cola 600. In fact, we have built programs for our clients that do just that. For the select brands that have property in multiple series, we have built sophisticated activations that tell the story of why you would be involved in multiple forms of motorsport. These programs have included VIP media appearances, private planes to watch both races in one day and much more. Charlotte is considered the defacto home for NASCAR as well, making this event full of other opportunities to provide guests with a special insight.
Getting your brand in the race
Motorsports brings together some of the most remarkable and notable brands in the world on one platform. They use sponsorships and partnerships as the way to do that. Note that this collection of brands doesn't account for other leading series around the world such as IMSA, WEC, NHRA, MotoGP or Formula-E but gives you a good look at who is building value in the sport as a whole.
This list of sponsors is not meant to be exhaustive and is in no particular order, but more illustrative of the wide range and scopes of brands using motorsports to engage their target audiences. You can find most everything from technology to CPG to manufacturing to financial services to luxury and much more. Some of them are involved in multiple series, some of them have products actually on the race track, some have been involved for years and some have just begun.
As a marketer, which of these brands do you most identify with? If given access to motorsports, how would use the available assets to enhance your brand? We'd love to hear from you here, and we left a link below for you to download the above infographic.