Research Finds Racing Events Influence Car Purchases


ROCHESTER — Foresight Research released more results from its 2012 Automotive Marketing Communications Study interviewing 7,851 new vehicle buyers in the US, finding:

  • Overall, 16% of buyers who attended a racing event stated it significantly or completely influenced their vehicle purchase.
  • One in five new vehicle buyers watched at least one race event on TV and one in twelve attended one or more races prior to purchasing their new vehicle.
  • Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Honda, Jeep and Mercedes Benz buyers reported the highest purchase influence from motorsports.
  • A year over year decline in race attendee buyers visiting OEM / brand displays suggests vehicle manufacturers cut back at tracks.
  • Motorsports sponsorship communicates brand reputation, fun to drive, sporty image and style, as well as price / value and fuel economy.    

Established in 1998, Foresight Research specializes in studies focusing on the key influencers of purchase decisions in the automotive, marine, advertising, public relations, experiential marketing, healthcare, government, and industry association sectors.

"The great recession had a profound impact on the motorsports industry; while race attendance and viewing are both down, the more serious fans continue to be involved and influenced by racing in their purchase decision," said Steve Bruyn, CEO of Foresight Research.  "In addition to the direct influence motorsports has on some new vehicle buyers there is a multiplier effect because many serious fans are what we call 'shouters' (give 16 or more new vehicle recommendations to others per year). Our formula for motorsports Return on Investment takes into account both the direct and this indirect word of mouth influence. This sample of 2010 - 2012 model year buyers confirms the communications power of motorsports sponsorship and explores what experiences within a manufacturer display is most impactful."

The 2012 Motorsports Sponsorship Report analyzes buyers who are influenced by racing during their vehicle shopping and purchase. It documents who views and attends race events.  It provides detailed measures of what attendees do at a manufacturer display, what marketing messages they receive and the additional lift in consideration ride and drive opportunities provide.  The data is reported by vehicle brand, segment, buyer demographics, loyal/conquest customers.

For more information visit

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