While NASCAR and CART may dominate the sport of auto racing in the U.S., the rest of the world watches Formula 1. This no doubt influenced Allianz AG to sponsor the BMW Williams F1 Team during the 2002 season.
The team posted four Grand Prix victories in 2001, three by Ralf Schumacher, world champion driver Michael’s younger brother, and one by Colombian Pablo Montoya, the rookie sensation of the year. It placed third in the constructor’s championship behind Ferrari and Mercedes-McLaren.
“Allianz reaped benefits in many areas from its involvement in Formula 1 during the 2001 season,” said the company’s announcement. This increases “brand awareness” considerably at minimal cost. “Less than five percent of the total Allianz marketing budget is expended on the BMW WilliamsF1 Team for a year. This gives Allianz around 300 million TV viewers who see the Allianz logo on the BMW Williams Formula 1 racing cars.”
Allianz also feels its image is positively enhanced by its F1 sponsorship. “People increasingly see Allianz as a dynamic, innovative and modern company, confirmed by initial advertising effectiveness studies carried out by the Marketing Department. It also established that international brand awareness of Allianz increased as a result of involvement in Formula 1. Just to take one example, 60 percent of the people interviewed in Hungary last year were familiar with Allianz. Today, 71 percent of respondents know about the integrated financial services provider,” according to the company’s news website, www.allianz.com.
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