The social media teams of various motorsports were gearing up for new seasons when on-track racing was brought to a shuddering halt due to the coronavirus pandemic. When that happened, keeping up engagement across platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook became all the more important.
Hookit, the Black Book's official data partner, has sifted through the data from 1st March to 30th April to produce some insights around who has been winning on social even while physical events have been on hold. Below is a bitesize breakdown.
Major differences and similarities from the first two months of 2020
- Team Penske, who compete internationally across multiple series, lost their top spot as the motorsport team with the highest number of posts to fellow Nascar outfit Joe Gibbs Racing, who posted 1,470 times across March and April.
- The total average follower count amongst the top ten series has slightly decreased while the total average follower count amongst the top ten teams has slightly increased. On average, the top ten series amassed 134,715 new followers during the two months, with the top ten teams roping in 167,983 new followers.
- Most series kept their post count consistent through March and April, with global motorcycling series MotoGP leading the way on 2,007, closely followed by Formula One, which pushed out a total of 1,562 posts across the two months.
- The adjusted ad value (AAV) for Formula One, calculated by the value of a post to the brand mentioned, increased 43 per cent in the second two months of 2020 compared to the first two months of the year. However, the average AAV of the top ten series was down nearly 70 per cent, perhaps indicating the impact that the absence of live events had on the value of branded posts.
- On that topic, the average number of branded posts among the top ten series fell nearly 51 per cent from the beginning of the year to 316.
- Nascar promoted 248 different brand partners across the two months, the most of any motorsport property, followed by MotoGP with 201.
- The US$52.7 million in total brand value created by Formula One was way out in front of any other series, with the figure five times that generated by all-electric motorsport championship Formula E in second.
- The average AAV of the top ten drivers and riders decreased by only about eight per cent despite the fact they were not competing for most of March and all of April.
- Rally driver Ken Block replaced Formula One icon Lewis Hamilton as the top driver/rider by AAV. Block doubled his AAV while Hamilton saw an 87 per cent decrease in his.
- It was not all bad news for Hamilton, who gained more than one million followers across his social channels from 1st March, meaning he edged out MotoGP as having the most followers in the world of motorsports (25.32 million).
- The average branded post count among the top ten athletes in motorsport dropped nearly 24 per cent from the beginning of the year.
- Teams were the only category in the study that saw an average increase in AAV among its top ten, with an uplift of 15 per cent.
- The average branded post count among the top ten teams fell nearly 44 per cent from the beginning of the year to the end of April.
- Red Bull Racing owned the top spot in total AAV early in the year for teams, but lost that position up over the past two months to rival Formula One team Mercedes-AMG F1.
- Red Bull did, at least, lead teams in total brand value created with US$5.3 million, followed by Rokit Williams Racing F1 with US$3.8 million.
- Joe Gibbs Racing led the way in terms of number of brand partners promoted (127) and the number of branded posts (917), meaning that 63 per cent of their posts were promoting partners.
Brands in Motorsports
- Protective apparel manufacturer Alpinestars had 193 motorsport properties promoting it, the highest number of any brand.
- Beverage and automotive companies occupied most of the top spots in number of properties promoting brands and number of branded posts.
- The two energy drink competitors topped the brand value list, with Red Bull receiving the highest total brand value of US$10.5 million followed by Monster Energy with US$7.2 million.
- Other notable categories in the top ten in terms of brand value received from the entire motorsports ecosystem were watches (Rolex), oil and gas (Petronas, Motul), consumer goods (Alpinestars), logistics (DHL), and automotive (Mercedes Benz).
Hookit, the Black Book's official data partner, reveals who in motorsport was winning on social during the months of March and April, when racing was predominantly on hold.