US companies dominate Formula 1 

US-based companies are according to Spomotion Analytics dominating in Formula 1. There is a total of over 40 companies from the US involved as partners and sponsors in Formula 1 during the 2018 season. The Mercedes AMG Petronas team is with 10 US-based partners and sponsors the team with strongest US-profile.

HP, UPS, AMD, Infor, Honeywell, Dell, CNBC, Tibco, Marriot, IBM, AT&T, Microsoft, Boeing and PPG are examples of US-companies with an involvement as partner or sponsor in Formula 1. Many of the US-companies are listed on NASDAQ or NYSE.

-        It is perhaps a little surprising that the US-involvement is so strong. Formula 1 is not a major sport in the US, but it seems that US-companies have realized that Formula 1 is a strong business and marketing tool for Europe, says Björn Stenbacka, analysist at Sports Telecom, the company behind Spomotion Anaytics.

The Formula 1 analyses show that most of the sponsors and partners in F1 fit in the categories; automotive, industry- or technology.

-         With strong manufacturers such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo (FCA), Renault and Daimler it is natural that there are many automotive industry companies linked to the manufacturers involved. What surprises is that there are quite few big consumer brands involved. There is a total of 8 watch brands. Some of them, Richard Mille as an example, is involved not only with one but with two teams. Richard Mille is a partner of both Alfa Romeo Sauber and McLaren, says Stenbacka.

Great Britain is the home of Formula 1, as most of the teams are based in the UK. UK is with 30 companies the second largest contributor of sponsors and partners to Formula 1. Third is Italy, a traditional Formula 1 country. Switzerland and Japan are on joint fourth place with 14 companies each. Fifth is Germany with 12 companies.  

-        UK, Italy and Japan are all traditional Formula 1 countries. To see Switzerland that high, even higher than Germany, in the country ranks is interesting. Four of the luxury watch companies, not at least and Oris, have headquarters in Switzerland. Logitec and banking giant UBS are also Swiss based companies. Le Coq Sportive is a French company, but the mother company Airesis is Swiss. IT security company Acronis, based in Switzerland but owned by Russian Serguei Beloussov, is involved with 3 teams, Force India, Toro Rosso and Williams Martini Racing.  

There are a couple of companies involved in F1 through several subsidiaries. The Mexican conglomerate America Movil and Carso Group, owned by the Slim family, is heavily involved with Force India, with Mexican driver Sergio Perez.

-        The team is backed by six Mexican companies. But Claro, Infinitum, Telcel and Telmex have the same parent company, telecom giant America Movil and Carso Group. Pemex is state owned and Vonhaucke is a Mexican furniture company. So, there are a total of 3 Mexican companies. Claro is also a partner of the Alfa Romeo Sauber team.

Luxury brand company French LVMH - LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton S.A – is another example.

-        The company is involved through subsidiaries Hublot, Tag Heuer, Veuve Cliquot and Moet Chandon. LVMH have partnered up with Ferrari, McLaren and RedBull.

Red Bull is also heavily involved. The company is the main partner of Red Bull Aston Martin, but Red Bull is also a main partner of the Toro Rosso Team. Other Red Bull companies involved are Hangar and Red Bull Mobile, both Toro Rosso partners.

-        Renault is involved not only through Renault but also through subsidiaries Infiniti, Ixell and RCI Bank and Services. All companies are Renault Sport Formula 1 partners.

Stenbacka says that both Chinese and Russian companies are still missing in Formula 1.

-         There are six Chinese companies. One of them is Swisse, the Australian based company owned by Chinese H&H Group. The biggest Chinese company is the Alibaba Group, involved trough subsidiary Tmall. But there are only two official Russian companies, Ferrari partner IT-security company Kaspersky and Williams partner SMP Racing. Note that Williams Martini Racing have a Russian driver, Sergey Sirotkin. 

What Stenbacka, as a Finn, is concerned about is that there are four Scandinavian and Nordic drivers; Valtteri Bottas, Kimi Räikkönen, Kevin Magnussen and Marcus Ericsson, but only five Scandinavian companies.

-         There is Wihuri from Finland, and four companies from Sweden. One is SKF, a long time Scuderia Ferrari partner. What partners Marcus Ericsson, leaving Formula 1 after the season, have is not official. Scandinavian and especially Finnish companies consider the entry barrier too high. Formula 1 is too expensive and too consumer oriented. This is the perception that has to be changed.   

Formula 1 is only about huge global companies. This is a typical perception. There are huge global companies, but according to Spomotion Analytics there are also small family owned companies and private businesses. 

-        The barrier to become a Formula 1 partner is low for companies with an interesting technology, solution or service the teams need in their operations. This is an important lesson for smaller companies dreaming of entering Formula 1.

Shell, British Petroleum and Daimler are among the companies with net sales figures over 100 billion euro.  

-         Many of the companies in Formula 1 have net sales in the 1-10 billion euro span. There are almost as many in the 10-100 billion span, as well as in the less than 1 billion span. Even though many of the companies are public and listed, there are many non-listed and even family owned businesses. Swiss Thomann Nutzfahrzeuge, long time Sauber partner, is one example. The Slim and Agnelli families are also family businesses with a strong presence in Formula 1.  

There are significant differences between the teams. Force India have almost 40 official sponsors and partners when the Haas team have 3, of which one is Haas Automation. The two other official partners are series partner Pirelli and motorsport company Alpinestar. 

-        Formula 1 teams classified as factory teams, with an automotive industry company, such as Renault, Daimler or Ferrari, as main partner, have the biggest sponsors and partners with the biggest total estimated net sales. The net sales of the Haas F1 team sponsors and partners is less than 9 billion euros. The total net sales of the Scuderia Ferrari partners and sponsors is almost 900 billion euros, says Stenbacka. 

There are also significant differences between the teams when it comes to structure of the sponsors and partners platform. Renault Sport Formula 1 Team have many partners and sponsors connected to Renault and the automotive industry. McLaren F1 have perhaps the most technology-oriented platform. McLaren F1 have companies such as Dell, SAP, NTT, Kenwood and Airgain. 

-        It is interesting to see the different profiles of the teams. As mentioned, Haas have a narrow structure with 3 partners when Force India have over 40. But many of the Force India partners are quite small companies. It will be interesting to see how the Force India structure will change in the 2019 season with new owners. The big teams attract big global partners, that is also obvious.  

Automotive, industry and technology, categorized by Spomotion Analytics, are the branches that dominates in Formula 1. There are also 10 telecom companies, 9 IT-technology companies, 9 motorsport industry companies, 9 clothing companies and 9 companies selling alcohol. Perhaps the most unbacked partners are Renault partner LaLiga and McLaren partner law firm Norton Rose Fullbright.  

The total net sales of the Formula 1 sponsors and partners is almost 6800 billion euro. The companies have a total of 18 million employees.  

-        Formula 1 is not yet close to its potential. The Formula 1 sponsor and partner platform can grow significantly with companies from new branches and new countries. There are also great network and business opportunities in Formula 1 that companies already involved should take advantage of, says Stenbacka.  

For more information, please contact: 

Björn Stenbacka