Who are your customers?

August 20, 2009

Renault are still to announce a sponsor to replace ING in 2010

Renault are still to announce a sponsor to replace ING in 2010

An important question for most firms is who are your customers? I like to use three questions to define a customer – who provides your income? Who makes the decision to use your product/service? and who benefits? Sometimes all three are the same individual/organisation, in some cases there are three different people and organisations with different criteria and needs. For an F1 team things are no more, or no less, complex than most other companies. If we put aside prize/media money from Formula One Group, then most of the revenue stream for an F1 team is provided by their partners or sponsors, some of this may be ‘in kind’ e.g. trucks, consulting services, beverages or travel, but most needs to be cash to pay the large salary bills that F1 teams incur.

So in terms of next season a guess at the main sponsors look to be something like as follows:

Ferrari – Santander (possibly with Philip Morris remaining)
McLaren – Vodafone
Red Bull Racing – the name says it all
Brawn – ??
Toyota – Toyota themselves are the main sponsor
Williams – Philips
Renault – ??
Toro Rosso – Red Bull, unless a new owner is found
Force India – Kingfisher
USF1 – YouTube (announced today)
Manor – ?? (leaked Email from the FIA’s Alan Donnelly suggests Virgin)
Campos – ??
Sauber(or ANO) – Petronas/Credit Suisse

The main gaps in front running teams are therefore Brawn and Renault, perhaps deals have been done and announcements are yet to be made, but if not these teams really need to pull in some customers otherwise their long term future is in doubt.

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