Sponsors claim that F1 VIP area is a ‘waste of money’

Less than 20 per cent of sponsors using the Formula One’s VIP area, the Paddock Club, say that using the prestigious hospitality service is worth the money, according to a new survey.

The study by German market-research company Sport+Markt, polled more than 60 Formula One sponsors across six countries that had used the VIP hospitality service.

It found that only 19 per cent of sponsors believed that the expenditure, which can be as high as E20,000 per guest, was justified and generated optimal return.

But despite the cost involved, less than a third of these companies conduct any cost-effective analysis of their investments, with 16 per cent saying that they did not know whether their company carried out such research.

One motorsport insider says: “There’s a change in the way that corporate hospitality is looked at. Big expensive corporations are shying away from it in this post-Enron age.”

However he says that the “unique” experience offered by the Paddock Club and Formula One was not about getting value for money. He adds: “If you are worried about the money, you are in the wrong sport.”

The Paddock Club was launched in 1984 and is run by Paddy McNally’s AllSport Management.

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