Ferrari's Renato Bisignani Says F1 Team's Consistency Vital To Attract Sponsors
Ferrari Motor Sport Communications Head Renato Bisignani said that the Italian team’s consistency in competing for a championship year in and year out “is vital” in attracting sponsorships. “The privilege of working for Ferrari is the huge attraction and media interest surrounding the brand whether you win or not," Bisignani told SBD Global at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. "In Formula One it is very, very difficult to win a championship, but it’s more difficult to be able to constantly fight for a championship. That consistency is vital. Yes, it offers visibility to our partners, but partners that engage with Ferrari, I think, want more than just visibility.” The Scuderia Ferrari F1 team currently has 23 sponsors, suppliers and partners that include brands like Shell, Santander and Philip Morris. Such big name brands, Bisignani said, are attracted to both Ferrari’s rich history and its competitiveness, as it has finished outside the top three in the constructors’ championship only twice in the last 20 years.
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT THEM: While Ferrari’s on-track consistency is key in attracting new partners, it is sponsorships that provide the team with the necessary funds to race. Bisignani: “[Sponsorships are] very important. They are fundamental because our racing activities are entirely self-financed through sponsorships, and on top of that we obviously have the revenue generated from TV and commercial rights as part of the prize fund from the commercial rights holder, Formula One Group. So they are vital to enable us to go racing, and on top of that we have a very specific commercial strategy to follow with a few, but very important brands.” According to Forbes, Scuderia Ferrari had a race budget of $260M in '11 with title sponsor Philip Morris alone paying $160M.
ONE-TWO PUNCH: This commercial strategy is based on Ferrari’s two worlds, the racing side and the luxury road car production side. Ferrari’s racing activities provide a strong sponsorship platform for brands to obviously gain visibility and engage with their consumers on a worldwide basis, whether in Formula One or across our 360-degree range of offers, Bisignani said. The road car production side, on the other hand, speaks to high-end, premium customers, which are Ferrari clients. Ferrari uses different logos for the two segments. Bisignani said, “The prancing horse alone refers to our GT and more lifestyle and premium activities. For example, we have a very vast licensing portfolio of partners, and we offer them the opportunity to develop more high premium products using one kind of brand.” However, Ferrari’s motorsports logo, which it calls Scudetto, can be found on fan products that are priced at a lower level. Bisignani: “It offers a very different range of opportunities that enables us to target companies that, at the end of the day share our same values: innovation, technology and passion.”