Heineken hopes F1 will help its beer zoom off shelf

Stephan Shakespeare
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F1 Grand Prix of China
YouGov Profiles data shows why the F1/Heineken deal could work well for both brands (Source: Getty)

Brewing giant Heineken is reportedly close to tying up a five-year £100m deal to sponsor Formula One. The sport is more globalised than ever, with races now taken place in extremely lucrative markets across the Middle East, America and eastern Europe.

Although many consumer brands have sponsored the sport over the years – with Red Bull and Benetton sponsoring teams, this trend has waned recently as viewing figures have declined.

Notably, McLaren lost Vodafone as its main sponsor in 2014 as the team struggled after years of competitiveness.

However, YouGov Profiles data shows why the F1/Heineken deal could work well for both brands.

Read more: US private equity firm in early talks over stake in Formula One

For a start, compared with UK adults in general, Grand Prix fans are more inclined to have an overall positive impression of the brand that the average punter and are also more likely to purchase lager in the pub.

Furthermore, F1 fans are also slightly more likely already to be Heineken customers, although the drink that most tickles their taste buds is cider brand Strongbow.

Looking specifically at Heineken drinkers, they are more likely than the average to like motorsports in general, and F1 in particular. Heineken has several beers under its umbrella, and it would probably use any deal to leverage several of those individual drinks.

Read more: Bernie Ecclestone reckons London Grand Prix could take place next year

Of the current crop of drivers, perhaps unsurprisingly British drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton score most highly in the popularity stakes, something else for the brand to consider when marketing activity is conducted.

Heineken already has an impressive array of sports sponsorship partnerships, in particular the Uefa Champions League. However, this foray into motorsports should in theory help to gain a foothold in previously untapped areas, as well as building on the solid base it has in its core customer locations.

For the sport itself, it is a much welcomed shot in the arm, and those in charge will delighted to convince a world renowned brand to get involved.

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