Hookit’s Motorsport Insight | The top women in motorsport

BlackBook official data partner Hookit analyses the sponsorship performance of female drivers participating in various motorsport series.

Hookit’s Motorsport Insight | The top women in motorsport

Hookit’s recently released report on women’s sports and the top female athletes saw Nascar Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan come out as the number one athlete by sponsorship value generated so far in 2021.

The top female athletes across all sports by sponsorship value adjusted ad value (AAV) so far in 2021 are shown in the table below.

Deegan’s dominance on social media - even over international icons like Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, and Alex Morgan - speaks to the passion of motorsports fans. Deegan has gained 700,000 new followers this year across her social channels, pushing her close to five million fans.

For context, only Danica Patrick had achieved that level of followers (four million) when it comes to female drivers or riders. While only two other women in motorsport, driver Lindsay Brewer and off road moto rider Laia Sanz, have over one million followers across their channels. While Brewer does not do much brand promotion on her social media, Sanz does and cracks the top list of female athletes across all sports.

When it comes to the top women in motorsport, they are drawn from various specialities, including motorcycling, sportscar and truck racing - both on road and off. Using sponsorship AAV helps brands compare athlete partners across portfolios or evaluate potential new partners to estimate how they would compare. Hookit also recommends looking at these additional key metrics when benchmarking current or future partners beyond just followers:

  • Fan engagement - Are fans interacting with their content and will they help spread your brand message to your target audience?
  • Promotion quality - How well they position brands when they promote their partners?
  • Branded post and branded interactions ratio - Are they promoting key partners in their most interesting content for fans?

So why is Deegan so far ahead of these other women? Well, here are some of the things she does well when it comes to engaging her followers and promoting her brand partners.

1. She posts frequently

With more than 300 posts through 15th June, Deegan averaged two posts per day. Of course, not every athlete wants to be that active on social media, but it helps Deegan keep fan engagement high and generate more value for partners.

2. She uses video content well, especially on TikTok

Of Deegan's top 25 posts by fan engagement 24 are videos, most of which are on TikTok. 

3. She participates in trends

Using trending hashtags and giving her take on these fads makes her feel relatable to her fans, as well as getting her content to new viewers.

4. She incorporates partners in lifestyle posts, not just ads

She lives with a Monster can in her hand and drives a Ford everywhere, her two key partners. They get exposure, whether deliberate or not, in nearly every post she makes. 

As top drivers and riders, these women have multiple sponsors that they promote. Key sponsors are promoted more often, like Deegan and her Monster and Ford relationships. Here are the top brands promoted by those top ten athletes in motorsport.

The biggest takeaway from these brands is how high the average promotion quality (PQ) is for each of them. The average PQ across sport is less than 20 per cent, and most of these are well above that, meaning they are being positioned well when they are promoted. Within motorsport, that average is even lower, due to the volume of sponsor logos visible and the inherent nature of the sport (fast vehicles = blurry logos). Clearly, these ten women know how to promote their partners in a way that showcases those brands well. 

Want more insights like this or to know how well your female partners are promoting your brand? Email us at insights@hookit.com.