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Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in doubt for 2021 but it’s the ongoing V8 Supercars series that provides value for sponsors

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, Jan–Dec 2020. Base: Australians 14+. n=61,294. Attended a motor sport event n=1,111
New Roy Morgan data shows sponsors of the Australian-based V8 Supercars series are reaching a wider audience of Australian motorsports fans than those of the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix – which is in doubt again this year due to Australia’s tough border policies.

Nearly 4.6 million Australians watched motorsports including Formula 1, V8 Supercars, the Bathurst 1000, Drag racing and Rally car racing on TV in 2020. The leading motor sports events watched by Australians on TV are the Bathurst 1000 watched by over 3.1 million, the V8 Supercars watched by 2.6 million and the Formula 1 watched by nearly 2.3 million.

Of the 362,000 who attended a motorsports event last year a large majority of 80% can name at least one brand they associate with V8 Supercars compared to a smaller majority of 57% who can name a brand associated with the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.

In contrast, only around a quarter of all Australians, 28%, can name a brand associated with V8 Supercars and just over a fifth, 22%, can name a brand associated with the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.

For those attending motor sport events the top brand associated with V8 Supercars is former Bathurst 1000 naming rights sponsor Supercheap Auto mentioned by 42% of attendees ahead of well-known Australian car brands Holden (34%) and Ford (30%). Former V8 Supercars series naming rights sponsor Virgin Australia is mentioned by 19% of motor sport attendees and is the fifth most recognised sponsor of V8 Supercars.

Clearly the top two sponsors associated with the Australian Grand Prix are current naming rights sponsor Rolex mentioned by 24% of motor sport attendees and leading car manufacturer Mercedes mentioned by 21%.

In a sign of how enduring sports sponsorship associations are it is former naming rights sponsor Qantas in third that is mentioned by 13% of motor sport attendees as being associated with the Grand Prix. Qantas was the naming rights sponsor for the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2010-2012 – nearly a decade ago.

Top 5 Brands associated with Formula 1 & V8 Supercars by Australians and motor sport attendees

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, Jan–Dec 2020. Base: Australians 14+. n=61,294. Attended a motor sport event n=1,111

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

Analysing brand association for last year’s Bathurst 1000 naming rights sponsor Supercheap Auto shows that Australians who 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 V8 Supercars and the Bathurst 1000 aren’t far behind.

Over two-in-five motor sports attendees, or 42%, associate Supercheap Auto with the V8 Supercars. The automotive parts retailer had been the naming rights sponsor of Australia’s leading V8 Supercars race the Bathurst 1000 for 16 years from 2005-20.

For Australian motor sports fans who regularly watch motor sport on TV sponsor recall is also very high - with 33% of those who almost always watch V8 Supercars associating Supercheap Auto with V8 Supercars and 30% of those who almost always watch the Bathurst 1000 making the association.

For occasional TV watchers sponsor recall reduces to around a quarter for Supercheap Auto for both V8 Supercars viewers (25%) and Bathurst 1000 viewers (24%).

Sponsor recall is slightly lower again for those Australians who themselves participate in motor racing with just under a fifth, 19%, associating Supercheap Auto with V8 Supercars and drops to under one-in-ten of all Australians (9%).

Supercheap Auto sponsor association to V8 Supercars for motorsport attendees, players & viewers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, January-December 2020. Base: Australians 14+. n=61,294.

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, says the uncertain status of this year’s Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix is highlighting the value provided by sponsoring the 12-race V8 Supercars series held entirely at tracks around Australia and New Zealand:

“The rescheduled Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix was moved until mid-November 2021 from its usual March timeslot to avoid the Australian border closure which began a year ago in March 2020.

“However, this month’s Federal Budget has put the status of the annual race in doubt with borders not expected to open until mid-2022 meaning it will be all but impossible for the race to go ahead if competitors are forced into mandatory two-week quarantine. The latest outbreak and lockdown in Victoria also adds further doubt to the chances the Formula 1 Grand Prix will go ahead.

“This likelihood means naming rights sponsor Rolex and leading manufacturer Mercedes are likely to miss out on the publicity boost that the Grand Prix brings for a second straight year but for motorsports fans there is the alternative provided by the Australian-based V8 Supercars series.

“The V8 Supercars series provides a great platform for sponsors looking to reach Australia’s 4.6 million motor sports fans and the sponsorship associations with the V8 Supercars is stronger than that seen with the Formula 1 Grand Prix. A large majority of 80% of Australians who attended a motorsports event last year can name a brand associated with V8 Supercars compared to 57% for the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.

“The long-running sponsor of the Bathurst 1000 Supercheap Auto is the leading brand mentioned by 42% of motorsport attendees ahead of manufacturers Holden (34%) and Ford (30%). V8 Supercars series naming rights sponsor from 2016-2020 Virgin Australia was mentioned by 19% of attendees.

“The value attained by the V8 Supercars sponsors has been noticed by rival companies. Automotive parts retailer Repco signed a deal in September 2020 to sponsor the V8 Supercars, as well as the iconic Bathurst 1000 race, from 2021-25 replacing both previous naming rights sponsors Supercheap Auto and Virgin Australia.

“The exit of Holden from the Australian car market at the end of 2020 also signals further change ahead for the sport with Holden parent company General Motors set to join the V8 Supercars series in 2022 as ‘General Motors Specialty Vehicles’ (GMSV) using a Chevrolet Corvette.

“The departure of two of the most widely recognised sponsors of V8 Supercars (Holden and Virgin Australia), and the ending of the long-running Supercheap Auto sponsorship of the Bathurst 1000, gives businesses looking to build their profile the opportunity to connect quickly with the millions of Australians who watch and enjoy V8 Supercars.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
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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

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2