When Formula One rolled into Florida for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix last week, the sport was riding a high of popularity that it’s never experienced in the United States. Over the tour’s first four races in 2022, viewership in the U.S. was up by 22% over the same timeframe in 2021 — which itself was a 54% increase in viewership over 2020.
It’s not just North America, either. By the end of the 2021 F1 season, viewership numbers had skyrocketed in the Netherlands (+81%), France (+48%), and Italy (+40%); the F1 finale in Abu Dhabi had 28% more viewers than its 2020 counterpart. There have never been more eyeballs on the sport globally.
Poll position in the race for customer engagement
The F1 boom is an enormous opportunity for brands to cultivate fresh experiences for new audiences and markets. Brands that take the checkered flag are those that can best harness a wide range of customer engagement and generate insights to take action faster than the competition.
Throughout the 2022 F1 season, Sprinklr has been the pit crew for consumer experiences. With AI-powered social listening tracking fan conversation across the most popular social channels and dynamic, real-time visuals through Sprinklr Presentations, brands and sponsors have a 360-degree view of what’s “driving” engagement at the track and beyond.
Over the first portion of the season, the race for top-mentioned team hasn’t been close. Mercedes has more than 100,000 additional mentions than its closest rival. In a somewhat surprising result, the Haas team holds the second spot, slightly ahead of team Ferrari — despite the fact that Ferrari is the top-ranked team and Haas is only eighth.
The popularity of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton — who is edging out rival Max Verstappen for most-mentioned driver — is consistent with the team results in the first image. Ferrari’s drivers also make a strong showing, and the inclusion of two Red Bull drivers without a top-three finish in team rankings gives brands some insight into the popularity (or infamy) of Verstappen and Perez as individuals.
Overall tour trends like these can help brands better understand the F1 landscape and can be a helpful benchmark for sponsors. But for greater context into what’s shaping these numbers, let’s take a look at what moved the needle at the latest race in Miami.
This dashboard gives brands up-to-the-moment insight into a number of elements fueling fan engagement, including top hashtags, top drivers, and best-performing social posts around the Miami Grand Prix.
These two dashboards give brands a sense for which teams and drivers were dominating fan conversations and engagement over race weekend. This allows brands to visualize important moments throughout the course of the event, flag spikes to isolate causal factors, or identify engagement patterns that can be applied to future races to influence campaigns.
3 lessons brands can learn from F1 2022
Striking visuals and real-time data are critical for any brand to better understand customer experiences related to major sponsorships.But that’s just the first lap for brands looking to maximize their presence at big events. Here are three lessons from F1 that can influence your brand strategy:
1. Be there for the big moments
Any brand can be there at the finish line, playing the results for a few moments in the spotlight.
But with F1, the big moments go beyond winners and losers. How does driver engagement over the course of a season compare with engagement on a race weekend? Why did driver Pierre Gasly spike in mentions across social channels late Saturday morning? Why did a joke Tweet about the event create so much buzz? How did the McLaren Team dominate social conversations throughout the event despite only a 13th-place finish in the race? How should my brand adapt its approach for the next race?
To understand the moments that matter in a complex customer ecosystem, you need the ability to view and compare data over different time periods, pulled from dozens of digital channels, and encompassing hundreds of independent variables.
2. Context is key
If you casually followed the Australian Grand Prix in April, you may have concluded that driver Sebastian Vettel had a great race, since his name was sparking engagement. But campaigns and messages built on that surface-level understanding would have missed the mark, since Vettel was trending because of a notable crash, after which he drove a moped around the course.
Not all engagement is created equally. Brands need a solution that doesn’t just scan for raw mentions, but also provides important contextual insights. Sentiment analysis can help you understand what feelings inform a trend; media monitoring can help PR pros recognize positive and negative news stories impacting an event or industry; and visual data can help you understand how and where your brand logos are being used across social media.
3. Get the most out of user-generated content (UGC)
F1 races are high-prestige events in lavish locales, with a VIP list hundreds of celebrities long. F1 has also expanded access for fans to all corners of its venues. All of this is a recipe for thousands of photos and videos in social posts. If you’re a sponsor, there’s a good chance your logo will be featured — but there’s also a good chance you won’t be tagged.
When you can’t track visual data, you miss out on a better understanding of total engagement. But you also lose out on an opportunity to leverage UGC, which can be more authentic and impactful than traditional branded images.
Be sure to select a solution that enables you to monitor UGC, even when your brand isn’t mentioned by name. In this way, you can repurpose top-performing posts to save resources, identify potential influencers to enhance your brand, and benchmark total logo performance from partner campaigns or against competitors.
Start your engines with Sprinklr Modern Research
Whether you’re running an F1 race or neck-and-neck with a competitor’s brand down the stretch of a hard-fought campaign, winning is a team effort. Sprinklr’s Modern Research solutions are like the perfect combination of driver, car, and pit crew for brands at the top of the podium.
That’s because Sprinklr’s Modern Research takes a holistic approach to brand excellence, including:
AI-driven Social Listening to capture real-time fan conversations across 30+ social and messaging channels
Powerful solutions for richer context into brand performance, including Visual Insights to capture use of your logo, Sentiment Analysis to understand the feeling behind every mention, and Media Monitoring for more effective, proactive PR
Dynamic reporting through Presentations, helping your team to tell your whole brand story at a glance with arresting visuals
For more F1 insights, follow us all season long here. To get your brand revved up with Modern Research, reach out today for a demo.