Sauber and Chelsea: Who benefits more?

The new link-up between the Sauber Formula 1 team and Chelsea football club that was announced earlier today was one that surprised me. Link ups between F1 and football teams have happened in the past. Most notably, Group Lotus (who owns the Lotus F1 Team) and Norwich City announced a tie-up last year, and Tony Fernandes is chairman of both Queens Park Rangers and Caterham Group.

I think with the latter two tie-ups, both firms benefit equally as neither is extremely well known or extremely good in their field – ie. Norwich are not on Premier League winning level and nor are Caterham. Chelsea, however, are much more well-known as they compete around Europe in the UEFA Champions League competition. Although Sauber compete all around the world with F1, I think that in terms of awareness, Chelsea have higher brand awareness than Sauber. The social media statistics would support this.

9,850,154 fans – Chelsea F.C. (9 million)
0,019,470 fans – Sauber F1 (19 thousand)

886,527 followers – Chelsea F.C.
48,923 followers – Sauber F1

24 million hits – Chelsea F.C.
4 million hits – Sauber F1

While Sauber may benefit financially from this, I don’t see them benefiting elsewhere from this. Are Chelsea fans, who are also F1 fans going to switch their allegiances to Sauber because Chelsea support them? I don’t think so. At the same point, I don’t forsee Chelsea fans consuming Sauber products, or vice-versa. At 09:00 this morning, this was the amount of Twitter followers both Chelsea and Sauber had:

884,429 followers – Chelsea F.C.
47,380 followers – Sauber F1

So Chelsea’s has increased by 2,098 followers (or 0.023 percent), while Sauber’s has gone up by 1,543 followers (or 3.25 percent). For anyone who wants to have a look, Sauber’s sponsors are listed here, while Chelsea’s are listed here. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t think Sauber or Chelsea fans go out with their sponsors in mind, thinking “Chelsea have Samsung as their sponsors’, therefore I am more likely to buy a Samsung television”. I would give an example from Sauber’s sponsorship page, but I can’t think of an example, because nothing on that page appeals to me. I imagine there must be something more than financial benefit to both brands, otherwise they would not have entered this partnership. I won’t claim to be an expert in this area by any means, these are just my opinions on the matter without any “hard facts” before them to prove or disprove.

Before I close this blog, I should probably note why I’ve blogged about this on a broadcasting blog. For me, broadcasting encompasses and includes social media trends as well as other activity in this area, hence my blog on this subject matter.

Comments and thoughts welcome!

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