When it comes to racing and selling cars, the mantra was “win on Sunday, sell on Monday. The legendary car executive Lee Iacocca had a similar say while working at Ford:
You sell on Monday what you race on Sunday
The above quote was pulled from a 1971 NY Times article and this blog post is one of many I have in draft mode and just waiting to hit publish on them. However, I had to heavily edit this one after yesterday’s Formula 1 race at Mugello Circuit in Italy.
The F1 race was Ferrari’s 1,000 race and they have the honor of being a part of F1 since the inaugural season in 1950. No one has raced more, won more or built a bigger fan base then the team from Maranello, Italy – the home of Scuderia Ferrari.
Back then racing cars was a way to attract customers to the many new car brands that were emerging and to create a sports-like atmosphere. By having races, the car makers could show off what their products could do and essentially get free advertising for the winners since their logos would be plastered all over the cars. Then people would remember those brands and head to their local car dealer and buy those cars the next day….brand recall.
That’s the theory…unless you are Ferrari.
Ferrari as a team hasn’t won the F1 Constructors’ Championship in over a decade yet the sales of classic Ferrari’s and new ones are hitting historic highs. 2019 was the best year for Ferrari in terms of new car sales, they sold over 10,000 units for the first time ever…they sold 10,131 to be exact. Yet, their rankings in the F1 is so sad that most Ferrari F1 loyalist don’t like to talk about the state of affairs at Scuderia Ferrari.
So what gives, how does “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” defy logic for Ferrari? Brand recall.
The Ferrari car brand has been around for so long and is so legendary that people still want to be associated with the brand even though Ferrari F1 is in the exact opposite position. That truly is long term brand recall and something that does not happen overnight. When I talk to Ferrari owners many of them don’t even track or connect with the F1 racing division, for them it’s the mystique of owning a car brand that is so highly coveted in the past and hopefully in the future as well.