Contrary to many people’s beliefs, the Roland-Garros 2022 tennis tournament was the scene of a small “event”. In fact, for the first time this year, it is the Renault diamond that could be seen on the tracks and the nets and no longer the Peugeot lion. A member of the Paris tournament since 1984, the Stellantis group’s brand gave way this year to its main French rival. Renault has registered as a premium partner for the event for an initial period of 5 years. In 2022, the manufacturer made available a fleet of 100 Renault Megane E-Tech electrics. “As part of its new brand strategy, Renault has decided to streamline its marketing partnerships around the world and focus its commitments on key pillars with high added value.”explains the manufacturer, which has chosen to focus on two major associations in sport: rugby, on the side of the French Federation (FFR), and now tennis with the Roland-Garros tournament.
Skoda and Citroën are committed to cycling
In a few weeks, two more car brands will be leading the Tour de France, Skoda (main partner) and Citroën (represented by the Citroën AG2R team). These two major French events confirm the importance of sport as a vector of visibility and notoriety of automotive brands. Along with banks, insurers, energy and mass consumption players, manufacturers are among the most invested in the field of sport. Sporsora has recently published a study on the place of the automotive sector in sports sponsorship. It seems that 27 of the top 30 brands in the French market invested in this area in 2021 (all sports combined), in France and internationally. Alone Tesla, Mitsubishi and Mazda have not splashed money on sports last year. Sporsora puts between 10 and 12 million euros a year the amounts paid by Renault in sports sponsorship through its collaborations in rugby and tennis (between 6 and 8 million euros for Roland-Garros). For Citroën, dedicated to cycling (Tour de France + federation), the investment is estimated at around € 7-8 million. Volkswagen’s partnership with the French Football Federation is valued at between 6 and 7 million euros.
TO READ. Roland-Garros 2022. Renault, new official partner for 5 years
Rugby, the most popular sport among car brands in France
In France, 17 of the top 30 brands in the market have associated their image with a discipline and a sporting event (excluding motorsport and e-sports): Audi, BMW, Citroën, Dacia, Hyundai, Land Rover, Lexus , Mercedes -Benz. , MG Motor, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Skoda, Suzuki, Volkswagen and Volvo.
The organization reports that brands in France favor partnerships with federations. Last year, rugby (19%), running (14%), tennis (10%), football (10%), sailing (10%) and cycling (10%) they were the most popular territories for automotive brands. “In addition to these partnerships, brands will also seek to partner with major competitions and use ambassadors to more easily partner with the sport in question.”. Linked for a long time to the world of football, mainly in France as part of the partnership with Olympique Lyonnais, the Korean brand Hyundai has changed its tone by associating its logo and image with the world of running. He is now the official partner of several major races (Harmonie Mutuelle Semi de Paris, Adidas 10K Paris, Run In Reims By Harmonie Mutuelle, Run In Lyon By Harmonie Mutuelle, Marseille-Cassis, etc.) and more than a hundred events through its network of distributors.
Football and tennis, the first international relays
Internationally, 21 of the top 30 brands are investing in sports sponsorship (excluding motorsport and e-sports). Sporsora reports that football (33%) and tennis (17%) are the two most popular sports. Thus, 15 automotive brands out of the top 30 are active around these disciplines with international influence. “In order to ensure maximum visibility and avoid taking sides, brands will favor partnerships with major competitions”, says the organization. The latter considers the entrance ticket for a major association to the Olympics (Toyota) slightly above 50 million euros per year (€ 207 million for 4 years). A similar sum is being advanced to be the main sponsor of the European Championship (Volkswagen).
Car brands are investing more and more in e-sports
In motor sports, Formula E, Formula 1 and Rally (WRC) are the three most frequent competitions among the top 30 car brands in the French market, followed by the Dakar and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A total of 17 brands are represented in motorsport: Audi, BMW, Citroën, Dacia, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Seat, Skoda, Suzuki and Toyota. “Apart from Mercedes, present in Formula 1 and Formula E, no brand invests in more than one of these competitionsSporsora points out. Beyond their investments in motor sports, the brands of the automotive industry are diversifying their investments with a presence in the biggest sports competitions and the best teams in the world. Sponsors who want to invest in the sector will also tend to combine a partnership with a team and a competition.. In total, 17 automotive brands have associated their image with the world of e-sports (e-sports), in order to reach a younger target.