The F1 craze may divide fans, but American businesses are enthralled by it.

F1 fans are split regarding the Americanization of Grand Prix racing, including the new pre-race show. While some appreciate the efforts to attract new fans, others believe that this could detract from the quality of racing that die-hard fans expect. Nonetheless, what is unmistakable is that American companies are currently obsessed with F1. According to a recent report by F1 sponsor analytics firm Spomotion Analytics, the number of US companies involved in Grand Prix races has increased significantly. The 2022 season saw over 100 US companies on F1’s pitlane-wide sponsor roster, more than double the number in 2017. For 2023, the number dropped slightly to 98, but is back up to 105 with Ferrari’s deal with US tech firm DXC Technology.

What is important about the number of US sponsors and partners is how it compares to that of F1’s main European markets. According to Björn Stenbacka of Spomotion Analytics, 105 US companies are involved in F1, while 104 official teams and series with partners from Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and France are participating. This means that the balance of power has changed in favor of the US, as the number of European partners is declining. For instance, Germany has lost six companies since last year, three of which are related to Mick Schumacher’s departure. 

McLaren holds the pole position, with 25 of its partner portfolio coming from the US, while Red Bull has doubled its number of US partners to 18 in just two years. The value F1 provides to big American companies was demonstrated at the recent Miami Grand Prix when the honor of waving the checkered flag went to Hard Rock chairman Jim Allen, whose company sponsors Red Bull, Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, and the new Las Vegas Grand Prix. Allen noted that F1 has transformed in America and that many great US cities stand to benefit from the product.

According to Allen, the entertainment factor is crucial to a company like his, adding that any sporting event should include an element of entertainment. He argues that the partnership between Hard Rock and Stephen Ross aims to create an entertainment destination, not just for football. The partnership encompasses everything from football to concerts to tennis to Formula 1 racing, and this diversity is exciting for Allen. US corporate interest in F1 is currently at an all-time high.

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