Almost half (44%) of U.S. motorsport fans polled by Sponsorship Research International (SRi) watched the US Grand Prix, with 30% of them claiming to be extremely interested in watching future FI races on network television. Fans were frustrated by irregular coverage and lack of access to cable stations.

While 79% were fans of NASCAR, fan interest in F1 and CART registered at 43% and 42% respectively. F1 was seen as having very competitive drivers, but tied with CART with only 14% agreeing it was the most exciting form of motorsport. The lack of passing was bemoaned and NASCAR was considered to offer this, plus ‘cars that resemble the ones driven on American streets daily by guys I can identify with’.

Unsurprisingly, Ferrari was the team that the majority of respondents were most aware of and race winner Michael Schumacher was by far the best known driver. In spite of running with no Marlboro branding due to US restrictions, over 30% of the respondents named Marlboro as an F1 sponsor, with cigarette brands taking the first four places among sponsorship awareness.

The survey was conducted on-line through a self-administered questionnaire amongst 321 motorsport enthusiasts defined as fans by their ranking of interest in various motorsports.

For further information, please contact:

William Fenton – SRi Brussels
Tel: + 32 2 346 42 10