Study: Motorsport athlete endorsement deals increase 40% YoY

SponsorUnited report reveals Nascar driver Anthony Alfredo is most endorsed athlete with 31 partners.
  • Motorsport athletes receive twice as many endorsement deals compared to major US sports
  • 87% of F1 sponsors are non-endemic brands; IndyCar has 25% more endemic sponsors than F1
  • F1 viewership increases 28% on ESPN, social media engagement increase 80% and major brand partnerships increase 24%

Motorsport athlete endorsements have increased 40 per cent year-over-year (YoY), according to a report carried out by SponsorUnited.

SponsorUnited's report looks at over 4,200 brands, 200 athletes and 3,000 social posts in motorsport, including Nascar, IndyCar, Formula One, Formula E and MotoGP.

This growth between 2021 and 2022 was also reflected in deals per brand increasing 25 per cent. On average, motorsport athletes receive twice as many endorsement deals as their counterparts in other major professional sports. Nascar driver Anthony Alfredo is currently the most endorsed athlete with 31 signed.

Motorsport is also an increasingly attractive area for brands seeking fan engagement, again comparing favourably with other professional sports. In comparison to major North American sports, motorsport is showing three-and-a-half times the sponsorship growth, with over 4,000 brands involved already.

In particular, Formula One is displaying significant growth, especially in the US. With the addition of races in Miami and Las Vegas taking Formula One to three US races, viewership has increased 28 per cent on ESPN, social media engagement has increased 80 per cent, and partnerships with major brands are up 24 per cent.

The platform of Formula One is also evident through the number of non-endemic brands now involved in the global motorsport series, with 87 per cent of the sponsorship portfolio originating outside the motorsport industry.

In contrast, the IndyCar series leads Formula One by 25 per cent in endemic sponsorship deals, highlighting the loyalty of racing-focused brands in the series.

“Coupled with the growing popularity of motorsports, we're also witnessing a surge in endorsement deals for the athletes that make this sport so captivating. As top drivers in Formula One, Grand Prix, and Nascar race towards the finish line, they're also securing deals with some of the world's most recognisable brands,” said Bob Lynch, founder and chief executive of SponsorUnited.

“The globalisation of motorsports has opened up new markets and created new opportunities for businesses to expand their reach and connect with broader audiences. Brands are recognising the value of aligning themselves with this dynamic and fast-growing industry.”

To read the report for yourself, click here.