F1 inks global partner deal with Salesforce

We often talk about how Formula 1 sponsorship has change from massive tobacco money to waning telecom and corporate sponsors over the past few decades. The impact has been massive, especially the banning of tobacco advertising prompting a very large vacuum in the F1 team sustainability. 

While some corporate sponsorship is coming back, perhaps most impressively led by Zak Brown at McLaren, the days of large “title sponsors” hasn’t returned. In the past, these sponsors, like Vodafone, could spend $50M in support of a team.

I work with Salesforce every day and it’s a nice CRM platform that is the backbone of our sales efforts. It’s great to see Salesforce support Formula 1 as a new sponsor of the series. Like LG, Heineken and others before them, F1’s appeal is global and they should enjoy some brand exposure for the right demographic. 

Having said that, F1’s tie-in with Salesforce is an interesting one. It’s not broadband services like Tata Communication, a beverage or technology infrastructure manufacturer. It’s a CRM platform and it’s interesting that the proposed deliverable from the brand mashup is harvesting fan data and other digital content. 

I’m intrigued to see how their

Salesforce Customer 360
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manifest itself in meaningful data and content creation for F1. 

F1 and Salesforce Press Release:

Salesforce, the worldwide leader in customer relationship management (CRM), will join Formula 1 as a Global Partner to power and grow fan engagement for the pinnacle of motorsport.

In addition, F1 will work with Salesforce – who have net zero emissions today and have achieved 100% renewable energy for their global operations – to accelerate its mission to reach net zero emissions by 2030.

With Net Zero Cloud, Salesforce enable organisations to take tangible steps towards carbon neutrality.

Furthermore, F1 and Salesforce will collaborate to expand the global F1 fan base and deepen the engagement of existing F1 fans using Salesforce Customer 360. The richer understanding of fan data will be combined with new broadcast graphics, trackside signage, digital content, Grand Prix activations and more.

Brandon Snow, Managing Director, Commercial, Formula 1, said: “We are delighted to welcome Salesforce to F1 as a Global Partner, further strengthening our roster of top-tier industry leaders. Using their industry-leading technology products, we will work together to create a new era of fan experience and engagement for our ever-growing fanbase. The fans are at the heart of everything we do and both we and Salesforce will be working together to continue to improve the experience for the fans and insight we have to tailor our approach even better.”

Colin Fleming, Executive Vice President, Global Brand Marketing for Salesforce, said: “Salesforce is excited to join the fast-paced world of Formula 1, partnering with them to connect with their global fanbase in a whole new way. Working with F1 to transform their approach to fan engagement and sustainability will give existing fans even more to love, and open doors for new audiences as the sport continues its rapid growth. It’s an exciting time for F1, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

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I’m sure Salesforce is lovely. But I so much preferred back in the day—80’s through early oughts, let’s say—when relationship management was an expense account. When business was fun, mostly.