Survey Says: Motorsports Sells Cars and Trucks
ROCHESTER, Mich., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- "The roar from an automobile race continues well after the cars leave the speedway." That's the major finding of a detailed examination of the influence of Motorsports on automotive purchase decisions conducted by Foresight Research, a Rochester, Michigan-based market research firm specializing in the automotive industry. Foresight spent more than five years compiling data for its proprietary "2010: Automotive Marketing Return On Investment" study.
In 2009, 10% of all new vehicle buyers surveyed attended one or more motorsports races in the 12 months prior to their purchase. Meanwhile, 25% of all new vehicle buyers surveyed watched at least one motorsports race on television in the same time period. Of those who watched motorsports on TV, the average number of races watched was a surprisingly high 11.
"New vehicle buyers who are influenced by motorsports typically love cars and trucks and they are opinion leaders for other car buyers – they give an average of 25 or more vehicle recommendations per year to others," said Steve Bruyn, President of Foresight Research. "More importantly people follow their advice – and we have measured it. So, there is a downstream impact from the races in the form of on-going word of mouth recommendations. That's why we say that the roar from a race car continues away from the track."
When it comes to the influence of various racing organizations, NASCAR, Formula 1 and IndyCar are heavy favorites. Geography also played a key role in the study with markets like Charlotte, Orlando/Daytona, Dallas and Northern California all more likely to attend a race and/or watch on TV. The incidence of TV viewership by brand was led by Dodge (36%), GMC (35%), Chevrolet (32%) and Ford (31%) followed by upscale and performance oriented brands. Buyers of large cars, sporty cars and pickup trucks are more likely to be influenced by motor sports.
"Race day is a total automotive immersion experience," said Bruyn. "When marketers have a display at a race, 63% of those highly influential buyers actually pre-planned their visits to include vehicle brand displays at the motorsports venue. These folks are there for the race but when they're in the market for a new vehicle they take the opportunity to visit the display. There may not be a huge number of shoppers at any given race but there are definitely enough to make the race day pay off. Then after the race, they are far more inclined to spread vehicle recommendations versus the total market average (44% versus 18%, respectively)."
Foresight's complete research study brings it all down to return on investment: both the direct affect on the shoppers at the display and the word of mouth affect on the purchase decisions of others. Then, the study offers a deep dive into the data including by brand, by segment purchased and by major metro areas. All those interviewed were actual new car buyers who had made their purchase an average of six months prior to the interview. Foresight Research can be reached on the web at www.foresightresearch.com for more information.