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Formula 1 in town but sponsor recall higher for V8 Supercars

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, January – December 2018. Base: Australians who have attended motor sport in the last 12 months. n=342.

The Formula 1 season kicked off in Melbourne over the weekend however when it comes to motorsports Australian fans have a far higher recall for V8 Supercars sponsors than for the Formula 1 sponsors.

Over 4.9 million Australians watch motorsports including Formula 1, V8 Supercars, the Bathurst 1000, Drag racing and Rally car racing on TV with nearly 2.8 million watching V8 Supercars and over 2.3 million watching Formula 1 in 2018. As well as those watching on TV around 550,000 Australians attended a motor sport event in 2018 such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix or the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercars.

For those attending a motorsports event over the last year nearly half, 48%, associate Bathurst 1000 naming rights sponsor Supercheap Auto with V8 Supercars. Other companies strongly associated with V8 Supercars are traditional automotive manufacturers Holden on 37% and Ford on 33%.

Tyre manufacturer Dunlop, long-time sponsor of the second tier Super2 Series is associated with V8 Supercars by 22% of motorsports attendees in 2018 and V8 Supercars naming rights sponsor Virgin Australia is associated by 11% of motorsports attendees with V8 Supercars.

When it comes to Formula 1 it is five-time reigning Formula 1 Constructors Champions Mercedes on top with 19% of motorsport attendees associating the German auto manufacturer with Formula 1 ahead of Melbourne Grand Prix naming rights sponsor Rolex mentioned by 17% of motorsport attendees.

Other brands firmly associated with Formula 1 include the former Australian Grand Prix naming rights sponsor Qantas by 13% of motorsport attendees, official Formula 1 sponsor Heineken by 10% of motorsport attendees and former naming rights sponsor CUB/ Foster’s by 9% of motorsport attendees.

Top 5 Brands associated with Formula 1 & V8 Supercars by Australians who attend motor sport

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, January – December 2018. Base: Australians who have attended motor sport in the last 12 months. n=342. 

Supercheap Auto recall highest for motor sport attendees ahead of TV viewers

Analysing brand association for Bathurst 1000 naming rights sponsor Supercheap Auto shows that Australians that have attended a motor sports event are the most likely to recall the brand when considering brands and companies associated with V8 Supercars – although TV viewers of motor sports aren’t far behind.

Nearly half of motor sports attendees, or 48%, associate Supercheap Auto with the V8 Supercars. This is hardly surprising when one considers the automotive parts retailer has been the naming rights sponsor of Australia’s leading V8 Supercars race the Bathurst 1000 since 2005.

For Australian motor sports fan that consume the product on TV sponsor recall is also very high with 43% of those who almost always watch V8 Supercars associating Supercheap Auto with V8 Supercars and 40% of those who occasionally watch V8 Supercars making the association.

Sponsor recall is slightly lower again for those Australians who themselves participate in motor racing. Just over a third of Australians (35%) who regularly participate in motor racing associate Supercheap Auto with V8 Supercars whereas just under a third of Australians (30%) of those who occasionally participate in motor racing associate Supercheap Auto with V8 Supercars.

The company associations for other brands firmly associated with V8 Supercars such as Holden, Ford, Dunlop, Virgin Australia and Vodafone also follow similar trends to those observed for Supercheap Auto.

Supercheap Auto sponsor association for motorsport attendees, players & viewers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, January-December 2018. Base: Australians 14+. n=14,913.

Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan, says the Formula 1 ‘circus’ has come to Australia over the past week although analysis of how Australians consume their motorsport reveals it is V8 Supercars which captures the attention of Australian fans:

“Every year hundreds of thousands of Australians flock to the Melbourne Grand Prix held at Albert Park racing circuit in mid-March before the global sport departs for foreign shores for the remainder of the year.

“Over 2.3 million Australians watch Formula 1 in a given year whether the home race in Melbourne or races from overseas held at all hours of the day and night. However, when it comes to motorsports, over 2.7 million Australians watch V8 Supercars and over 3.5 million Australians tune into the V8 Supercars ‘Grand Final’ the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

“These figures illustrate the power of the V8 Supercars Championship as a commercial vehicle to reach millions of Australians throughout the year. The V8 Supercars Championship currently consists of 15 rounds held between March and November with the second round held concurrently with the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne over the weekend.

“The strength of the V8 Supercars is also evident when one considers how motor sport attendees in Australia recall the major brands and companies associated with both the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the V8 Supercars. Brand recall is far higher for the V8 Supercars than Formula 1.

“Nearly half of Australian motorsport attendees (48%) associate Supercheap Auto with V8 Supercars. Other brands firmly in the mind of motorsport attendees are car manufacturers Holden (37%) and Ford (33%) as well as naming rights sponsors Dunlop (22%) and Virgin Australia (11%).

“Although Formula 1 captures the imagination in March, the lack of visibility for Formula 1 content throughout the remainder of the year means sponsor association with Formula 1 is significantly lower than for the Australian-based V8 Supercars Championship.

“The leading brands associated with the Formula 1 Grand Prix are led by reigning Formula 1 Constructors champion Mercedes mentioned by 19% of motorsport attendees as well as Australian Grand Prix naming rights sponsor Rolex associated with Formula 1 by 17% of motorsport attendees.

“Other brands that motorsport attendees associate with Formula 1 include former naming rights sponsors Qantas (13%), CUB/ Foster’s (9%) and current Formula 1 partner Heineken (10%). 

“For companies looking to tap into Australia’s nearly 5 million car racing fans the V8 Supercars, Bathurst 1000 and Formula 1 Grand Prix offer significant opportunities to reach these motor sport enthusiasts.

“This is a significant market comprising nearly a quarter of Australians aged 14+ and with Roy Morgan’s comprehensive Single Source data collated from interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year companies can gain unique insights into who these consumers are and where they can be found as well as a deeper understanding of what interests and activities they take part in even apart from their love of motor sports such as Formula 1 or V8 Supercars.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%