With a number of Grand Prix for the 2021 season having already announced plans to forgo attendances, the cost of an entire season without fans across the 22 races in MotoGP would see the competition lose out on nine-figure sums, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Jake Kemp, Sport Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “COVID-19 is continuing to jeopardise Grand Prix planning in 2021 in the same manner that it did in 2020. The opening two-race Grand Prix weekends in Qatar saw the grandstands reduced to a maximum capacity of 20%, which already minimized potential profits from ticket sales. Getting fans back watching live action is a huge financial plus for the series and its organizers, but there are no guarantees as to how many, if any can attend each circuit this year.
“The picture remains the same as it was in 2020, with so much uncertainty around crowds, as the world continues to battle against the pandemic. The reduced and reorganized 2020 calendar saw only limited numbers of fans invited to attend three rounds of racing in Italy and France. Had all of its 2020 races been able to host fans, then over 2.42 million fans would have been present across the season. Putting this into a monetary perspective, this equates to an estimated $106.87m of lost revenue from ticket sales.”
Sponsorship remains one of the key areas for generating income for MotoGP. The series groups its partners into different tiers of partners, with the most prestigious five ‘global partners’ each accounting for the five most financially lucrative deals held. French brand Michelin stands as the most valuable partnership contract for the 2021 season, with tyre manufacturer again serving as the official tyre supplier to all competing teams in MotoGP.
Kemp continues: “In total, MotoGP stands to generate $64.25m from its 21 main-brand partners, which operate on a sliding scale in terms of value and importance. This figure, however, appears to be relatively low when compared against other rival motor racing series such as Formula One. F1 comparatively generates an estimated $230.5m from its sponsorship deals, despite MotoGP boasting a larger following online. While the motorcycling series is taking steps to improve its global popularity, with the introduction of a new documentary series to follow the 2021 season, its value can still be described as low.”
Across the 11 competing teams in MotoGP in 2021, sponsorship also remains an important source of revenue. Collectively, these teams will generate an estimated $213.94m across the season.
Kemp concludes: “Team title sponsorship deals offer teams a quick an easy route to profiting from sponsorship deals. Title sponsorship rights in the sport can fetch up to $17m a season, which is the current estimated value of the deal involved in technology brand Lenovo and the factory Ducati team.”