How Virgin Uses Social To Revitalize Formula 1?
Last time I talked about Formula 1 racing teams and their lack of smart social media marketing attempts within their marketing strategies. But we need to show you the bright side as well and show you how Virgin Racing is using digital and social marketing to revitalize its racing team and brand…
We all know that not too many brands do their utmost to activate their sport sponsorships with smart digital and social media marketing strategies and programs. We seem to think that our brand name on a shirt, billboard along the pitch and some airtime accompanied by VIP tickets will do the job?
Well with digital and social media Virgin Racing seams to make serious attempts to revitalize its brand. For the first time a Formula 1 racing team has found the spirit to develop a smart social media marketing strategy that will more effectively engage with fans.
Virgin Racing has just launched their new website, which will be the hub for the brand. It features a magazine section and ways to get involved with the team.
The site will also create a community around the brand and will be integrated to social media sites. Virgin aims to entertain and involve Formula 1 fans as well as more casual viewers and non racing freaks.
The fans will be able to create content for the site and take part in (photography) competitions. Brett Volker, head of brand at Virgin Racing said Formula 1 had fallen behind other sports in engaging with fans effectively. And Brett is very right. An innovation and technology driven sport like Formula 1 racing, must be ahead of other sports, not fall behind.
Virgin activated its Facebook (4 different fan pages?!) and Twitter (7,813 followers now) presence recently (February 2010), in order to encourage participation and teasing of fans with information. The team also launched a YouTube channel (516 subs) which feature exclusive content from the teams and drivers.
Other racing teams like Mercedes GP spoke via its marketing director Bastien Hibon: our team will be using digital more.
It seems clear that the frontier in Formula 1 will be social media in 2010. Unfortunately too many brands and sports teams use social channels without any serious strategy, and just link to broadcasted content, and forget the conversational power of social media.