The F1 market is growing in the United States; but can they use the NBA model to develop it further?
It’s like comparing chalk and cheese; the two sports seem to have little in common. While basketball has been popular for many years in the United States, F1 has grown more slowly and steadily.
When it comes to world ranking and popularitybasketball out of ten comes third while F1 is just outside the top 10.
So how does F1 compare to this titan?
How popular is F1?
Formula 1 has seen viewing figures explode over the past two years. the total global audience in 2019 grew to 1.922 billion, the highest number of viewers since 2012.
Between 2018 and 2019, the number of viewers increased by 9%.
The main F1 markets were Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and the United Kingdom. Viewership figures in the United States saw a slight increase of 7%.
This audience growth is reflected in F1’s social commentary, with a surge in the number of people following, liking and otherwise interacting with F1’s social media accounts.
The use of the F1 mobile app has seen a substantial increase in users, and this translates to an increase of 152.3%.
Basketball in 2019 was noted as having the third most valuable media rights in the world, estimated at around $4.28 billion in 2019.
The NBA does the heavy lifting when it comes to the majority of media revenue, contributing 94%.
The second most valuable basketball competition in terms of media rights is the Euroleague.
In terms of viewership, the NBA, on average, sees approximately 1.34 million viewers per game on networks like TNT, ESPN and ABC.
It’s no exaggeration to say that basketball has billions of fans, especially since it’s the third most popular sport in the world.
Unlike F1, basketball has its biggest fan base in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Russia and Spain.
Since most countries have a range of teams and is usually played in schools, basketball can be popular earlier in life for its fans.
How is F1 trying to develop its market?
Formula 1 racing has always seemed like a glamorous sport. Winners on the podium spray champagne and celebrate. The sport itself also takes place in some of the most luxurious cities in the world, including the Monaco Grand Prix.
In recent years, many films and documentaries have focused on F1:
• Grand Prix 1966
• Life on the edge
• To rush
• Drive to survive
These movies are great for people who don’t yet watch F1 and have helped boost the sport’s popularity.
F1’s biggest names are also putting themselves in the public eye more often and aligning themselves with specific causes. Lewis Hamilton is one of the main drivers behind the increase in young viewers.
And unlike their profession, many drivers like Vettel and Lewis aim to make their homes and the sport greener.
Although the history of F1 in the United States has not always been great, it should have a huge impact. In previous years, American fans did not have the same love for the sport as Germany or Britain’s NASCAR and IndyCar; however, both have a strong fanbase in the United States.
One factor that didn’t help was that the US had no successful American F1 drivers – so exposure remained low.
However, with the reintroduction of the United States Grand Prix, there has been a noticeable increase in viewership in the market. The Championship also realizes that it needs to connect and engage with the American fan base.
COTA created a festival atmosphere to go with it, attracting new followers. In addition to the Grand Prix, the Austin, Texas-based circuit has hosted concerts in recent years, attracting big-name artists such as Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Elton John.
F1 can learn a lot from basketball in the way it promotes, engages and supports its fans.
Could Fantasy F1 be the answer?
Most of the most popular sports have massive fantasy leagues. Basketball Fantasy Leagues are among the most popular. They allow fans to build their ideal team and compete against each other.
Fantasy leagues accompany the sport; it can be a great way for fans to engage more and learn more about the players – or learn more about the drivers in the case of F1.
A Thriving F1 Fantasy Community Keeps Growing – Fantasy Reddit F1 is a great example.
There are also features on the official Formula1 website that give fantastic new F1 players a taste of getting started.
Like other fantasy sports options, you can build your team with the drivers of your choice.
To truly engage your fanbase, you need to offer more than just the ability to watch the game or the race. Fans need to feel like they’re part of the action, and fantasy drafts are one of the main ways to do that.