Drivers, Teams Equally Important Factors For F1 Marketers
F1 marketers said both drivers and teams are "important" when considering sponsorships, according to AUTO BILD. Santander Sponsorship Manager Pablo de Villota said, "The drivers are very important. They are the heroes of the sport. They are the reason why people buy tickets. However, teams are also important." Villota added: "Before Fernando Alonso, F1 wasn't a popular sport in Spain. We invested in Fernando, however, we conducted surveys and found out that Ferrari is just as popular as Fernando. Merchandise products only sell if they bear reference to Fernando and Ferrari." Pirelli Motorsport Dir Paul Hembery said, "Drivers can represent national interests in a better way. For example, we have discovered that our partnership with Vitaly Petrov had a huge impact on the Russian market. In this light, we would like to have a U.S. or Chinese driver in F1" (AUTO BILD, 12/20).