The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push
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The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push

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The age of the high-profile title sponsor is over, says JONATHAN NOBLE, but Formula 1’s commitment to technological innovation is attracting high-tech partners

Over the past decade Formula 1 has been beset by negativity from within and without. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that it’s undergone an identity crisis brought on by changes in the wider world as it fights to retain and build its audience share.

Cost inflation ran rampant. The screaming V8 engines, such an important part of the draw for established fans, made F1 an obvious target for a growing movement which felt it was just a gas-guzzling waste of resources. Buffeted by economic slowdowns and the pressure to abandon fossil fuels, the formerly free-spending car manufacturers fled outright or grew disinclined to spend. Sponsors looked at F1’s declining TV audience and fogeyish dismissal of social media, sensed a commercial rights holder living in the past, and spent elsewhere.

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