LAST SUMMER at a reported $500 million, Marlboro extended its sponsorship of Ferrari’s F1 entry, the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro car, until the 2015 season.
The contract represents an extension of a partnership that has seen the car branded by a cigarette bar code since 2008.
At this, the half way-point in the life of the agreement, Flightdeck, the social media tracker from Havas Sports & Entertainment, took a look at how well Marlboro is exploiting its relationship with Ferrari in terms of online conversation.
The association of “Marlboro” and “Ferrari” in traditional media platforms hasn’t evolved much since 2009; over the last three years total mentions via online news outlets have increased by 13.4%.
Mentions did peak in 2010, jumping by 63.9% over 2009 when driver Fernando Alonso took eventual champion Sebastian Vettel to the wire for the title. Conversation slid down again by 30.1% in 2011 when Alonso finished fourth.
Since the first full season of the Marlboro Ferrari partnership, the positive sentiment around the two brands, mentioned together in news coverage, has decreased slightly. In 2009 the two brands were mentioned in a positive light 69% of the time, by 2011 this figure had decreased by 17% (see graphic).
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