ROCHESTER, Mich. — Automakers, dealers and parts manufacturers are being forced to question the value of every dollar spent today. With that in mind why would any manufacturer sponsor motorsports especially in these challenging times? The answer is clear: because it sells cars and trucks.
In the recent new vehicle buyer survey by market research firm Foresight Research, motorsports influence is compared to 15 different forms of marketing communications used by buyers. Interestingly, among the total sample of new car and truck buyers 43 percent indicated that they had watched at least one motorsports event in the last 12 months. 14 percent had attended at least one race and 23 percent indicated that motorsports had at least some influence on their new vehicle purchase decision.
But what may be the most compelling reason to be involved in motorsports is the power that some fans can have in the purchase decision of other buyers. “Shouters” are people who influence the automotive purchase of others and are often influenced by motorsports. This group of buyers reported giving an average of 10 new vehicle recommendations per year to other people. It’s this strong power of influence that makes motorsports sponsorship delivers a better ROI than many other forms of marketing.
Among those who were influenced by motorsports, 67 percent said that power and performance was a key message. But a whopping 60 percent reported price and value as key takeaways and 56 percent learned about a specific vehicle make and model. How does this happen? Fifty-nine percent of race attendees visited the manufacturer’s display.
“With proper activation, motorsport sponsorships offer a great opportunity for communicating to shoppers in an emotional and rational way, and don’t lose sight of the word of mouth recommendations by these ‘Shouters,’” said Steve Bruyn, CEO of Foresight.