NASCAR adopted a bold merchandise plan and eventually bailed – F1 is going to give it a try
Now, F1 is going to have their go at the same strategy.
NASCAR teams traditionally sold merchandise directly. Merchandise trailers for each individual team travel from track to track. They then park together in a selected area. It creates a very personal merchandise experience.
NASCAR fans eager to show support for select drivers, teams or manufactures. They’ll take the Ford vs Chevy argument and knock it into the ground. Right until the point a Toyota fans joins the conversation, that’s when all sins are forgiven as they join forces against the lone Toyota supporter.
Getting it back on topic… Those trailers let fans know they are supporting their teams. It wasn’t a generic purchase, it was more personal, more direct.
However, it’s extremely expensive to haul an additional 4 haulers, in the case of a 4 car team, across the country with the sole objective of selling merchandise. That’s when Fanatics came to the rescue. They set up one gigantic tent and put every vendor inside.
The costs of running the merchandise were way down. But, the sales soon dropped as well. NASCAR fans hated the tent. After a few months, the gave up on the idea and teams went back to hauling individual trailers to each event.
F1 Merchandise Sales
Now, the Formula One World Championship has partnered with Fantics. The same company that brought the tent to NASCAR is attempting the same strategy on the open-wheel side.
“I’m not sure that we are going to revert to the 1970s of leaning over a table and saying ‘I want this one’,” explained F1 commercial chief Sean Bratches to Motorsport.com.
“We have engaged Fanatics, which is the market leader in this space and has a lot of knowledge in terms of sporting events and how product is merchandised and sold.
“Next year we will have a massive tent experience. You will be able to pick items up off a rack and see if it fits, then go into a queue with 15-20 registers and if you want to send it home, our partner DHL will be there to take care of it for you.”
“We think it is an experience that fans believe in and they are looking for,” he said. “We have done a lot of research at each grand prix that supports this.”
NASCAR track merchandise sales:
NASCAR Brand: 5%
Track Brand: 30%
Driver/Team Brand: 65%
F1 says they feel their numbers will be similar on the percentage base.