Faaez Samadi
Oct 16, 2017

Big brands lead engagement in Asia F1

Conversation around brands was closely tied to decisions over keeping F1 races in Singapore and Malaysia, according to research from Meltwater.

Big brands lead engagement in Asia F1

Big sponsors were unsurprisingly the big winners at this year’s Formula 1 races in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan, and appetite for the sporting spectacle is alive and well.

Research conducted by Meltwater, which monitored digital and social-media conversations before, during and after the respective races in the three countries, found that sponsorship in Japan returned less value for brands than in Singapore and Malaysia.

Accounting for 88 percent of mentions online in Malaysia was Petronas, the main sponsor of what was Malaysia’s final F1 race, with Emirates taking the bulk of the rest at 9 percent.

After the Malaysian government chose not to renew its F1 contract last year, Meltwater found a rise in conversations revolving around the decision, highlighting that the event still had traction despite it being the final one.

For Singapore, national carrier Singapore Airlines also dominated online brand-related conversation at 85 percent of mentions, followed by Heineken at 9 percent; both were race sponsors.

At the other end of the spectrum, conversation in Singapore was buzzing around the government’s decision to renew its F1 race contract. Together with Singapore’s biggest brand as head sponsor, Singapore sees the F1 as an event with huge global resonance that elevates the nation’s brand and raises awareness of the country on the international stage.

For Japan, sponsor DHL was the most talked about, but at a comparatively low 63 percent, with Rolex taking 10 percent and Emirates 9 percent.

Neil Brennan, area director for Meltwater Japan and Southeast Asia, said F1 in Asia presents a great opportunity for brands to engage fans and consumers alike.

“In Malaysia, we have seen a spike in social conversations and in forums lamenting about F1 being the last race," he said. "In Singapore, fans clamoured over high-profiled celebrities including Ariana Grande and One Republic, and also generated buzz around the renewal of the F1. Over in Japan, enthusiasts focused on the sports aspects of the F1, and less on brands and sponsorships, as the number of mentions dropped significantly as compared to Malaysia and Singapore.”

“F1 has traditionally been associated positively in Asia and globally. While some races may seem a tad duller and seen a slight decrease in crowds, brands still get great exposure and value from sponsorships,” he added.

Melwater’s research is based information sourced from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs and online forums.

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