However the world has modified an incredible deal over the previous few years, and now constructing a profitable model just isn’t about getting F1’s followers to right away dig into their pockets and purchase your merchandise the morning after you stand on high of the rostrum.
As a substitute, it is about getting customers to put on their logos on T-shirts, play their vehicles on laptop video games, trip on rollercoasters at their theme parks and put their posters on bed room partitions.
It’s about engagement, loyalty and openness – all elements that can’t be merely judged by the variety of weekly automotive gross sales.
That’s why Bernie Ecclestone’s now notorious remarks just a few years in the past, about F1 not being excited by younger followers as a result of they weren’t the kind to exit and purchase Rolexes, triggered such a stir.
“Younger children will see the Rolex model, however are they going to go and purchase one?” he stated again in 2014. “They cannot afford it.
“Or our different sponsor, UBS — these children do not care about banking. They have not obtained sufficient cash to place within the bloody banks anyway.
“That is what I believe. I do not know why folks need to get to the so-called ‘younger technology’. Why do they need to do this? Is it to promote them one thing? Most of those children have not obtained any cash.”
Ferrari eSport Sequence, Ferrari FXX Okay
Photograph by: Ferrari
Whereas he could have been proper that the younger technology weren’t prime targets for quick gross sales for a lot of of F1’s luxurious manufacturers, that did not bear in mind the opposite necessary elements that matter to producers past the quick gross sales…
For whereas the purchasers of at present are of giant significance, it’s simply as very important to plan for tomorrow – and ensure there’s a big line of individuals prepared to purchase your merchandise for years to return.
Any model that desires to achieve success must strategy the market with open eyes now, and realise that attracting the youthful technology is crucial – even when their quick spend is minimal.
For a prestigious automotive maker like Ferrari, it might be all too straightforward to take a seat again and deal with the core demographic who you are attempting to woo with promoting your subsequent mannequin.
However that’s not how Maranello approaches issues, for it absolutely understands the worth of constructing its firm extra open to everybody – and that features the youthful market.
It’s why its transfer in to sim racing has been fascinating as a result of it’s an funding right into a market section that’s fairly far faraway from an in depth hyperlink to its buyer base.
The common sim racer just isn’t somebody who has the spare money floating round to go and purchase a Ferrari tomorrow; however they’re somebody who can earn a way of loyalty and aspiration if they’re to race them within the digital world.
For Ferrari, the worth is evident in having as many individuals as attainable residing and respiration the model: and what higher approach to get children behind the wheel than in laptop video games.
For years now, that’s the reason Ferrari has licenced its vehicles to be used in laptop video games – reminiscent of Gran Turismo and Assetto Corsa – however final 12 months it ramped up its involvement by launching an official Esports Sequence.
The occasion, which attracted greater than 20,000 opponents, outperformed Ferrari’s estimates for engagement and involvement. It’s why it has expanded the content material much more for this 12 months.
For Ferrari’s chief communications officer Jane Reeve, who confesses that Maranello has caught the Esports ‘bug’, there are two clear causes for its involvement.
“One is as a result of we need to have many extra followers becoming a member of us, and being a part of the Ferrari world,” she explains. “We need to open up our doorways to all kinds of folks and everybody who desires to participate.
“The opposite half is expertise: we all know sport and competitors has at all times been necessary for Ferrari, and we need to get the most effective expertise.
“We actually need to invite everybody into our world. Ferrari is a superb model with an incredible historical past and we would like that historical past to proceed, however to try this we have to have folks coming into into our world.”
The worth of Ferrari’s Esports funding actually comes from enlarging the model worldwide.
Requested by Motorsport.com concerning the particular worth of attracting the youthful technology, Nicola Boeri, Ferrari’s chief model diversification officer, stated: “It is not simply concerning the automotive enterprise.
“It is extra concerning the model picture, the model consciousness and in addition the model progress. And we all know that by sponsoring and pushing a programme like our Esports Sequence, which is after all within the nature of Ferrari, this may permit us to legitimately attain out to a base of youthful shoppers, that might be in any other case fairly troublesome to succeed in.
“However it’s not solely reaching them. It is also participating them. When you’ve got 20,000 entrants like final 12 months, and probably much more this 12 months, all these individuals are going to actually dwell and breathe our DNA, our racing DNA.
“It is a distinctive alternative that we’re including to those we usually have, like for instance in F1. It is an incredible alternative and it is undoubtedly a strategic one for Ferrari.”
So even if for a lot of hundreds of individuals, the one expertise they’ll ever have of driving Ferrari is on a pc recreation, that in itself is the actual win for the well-known Prancing Horse.
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
Photograph by: Ferrari