Unlocking the value of direct-to-fan for Formula 1

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2020

Following an ownership change in 2017, Formula 1 aimed to transform direct digital interactions with fans and unlock new revenues.  The challenge was F1’s previous focus on deals with broadcasters and circuits left a dormant database and little or no direct contact with the fans. F1 created a new direct-to-fan relationship, recasting eCRM as a fast-paced, brand-building, global entertainment channel. This was built on magazine-style editorial emails with results regularly analysed and optimised, measured against a control group.  Fans receiving the programme outperformed the control set on engagement, retention and commercial metrics, exceeding targets. The fan-first strategy is estimated to have returned its investment fourfold in two years.  

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“Since we started our partnership with the agency two years ago they have helped us building up our direct-to-fan ecosystem, they are the lead with both fans and business direct acquisition for F1 and have been key to driving our F1 TV OTT service across the globe. This has transformed the way we do things and made fans more valuable to F1 with impressive returns on our audience investment. We have done this all at the speed of F1 and the agency are delivering commercial value as well as awards in creativity and effectiveness.”

Ellie Norman, Director of Marketing & Communications
Formula 1

Winners 2020

Bronze Winner


Unlocking the value of direct-to-fan for Formula 1


Formula 1


Formula 1



Principal Authors

  • Jackson Russ - Ogilvy UK
  • Martin Delamere - Ogilvy UK
  • Frank Duck - Ogilvy UK

Contributing Authors

    Credited Companies

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