In March 2021, Ferrari Trento, a sparkling wine house from the Trentodoc region of Italy, became the official sparkling wine of Formula One (F1) in a three-year partnership deal with the motorsports behemoth. This means bottles of Ferrari Trento will be sprayed on the podiums at all of this season’s races and poured at official F1 events, venues, and through the Formula 1 Paddock Club — spaces above the team’s garages that offer a unique viewing perspective and also have an open bar, all day refreshments, and local entertainment at the races.
As wine continues to lose younger drinkers to spirits, industry professionals hope the partnership will lure fans of the sport to wine. Wine needs more exposure as an everyday beverage, and increasing brand awareness through sports partnerships may be a way to do that — especially as Netflix’s “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” series has created a trend of American fandom for the sport.
The newest season of “Drive to Survive” is currently in the top 10 of Netflix most watched shows, and ESPN televises the F1 races in the U.S., including the awards presentation where the Ferrari Trento is featured prominently. More than 400,000 people turned out for this year’s U.S Grand Prix, according to The Guardian, and a million more fans watched the race on TV.
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With the new Netflix season having been released on March 11 and the first race of the newest season occurring nine days later, Ferrari Trento’s name will be in the spotlight as the top three athletes on the podium spray each other in celebration for making podium and directly in people’s homes as you can see the label of the wine in certain episodes. According to Nielsen’s 2022 Global Sports Market Report, sponsorships have proven their ability to convert fans whether or not they are familiar with the sponsor.
Ferrari Trento was founded in 1902 by Giulio Ferrari, a native of Trentino, and the brand was the first to produce Champagne-method bubbly in Italy. And, despite its recent associations with racing, it’s important to note that Ferrari Trento has no association with the homonymous Italian luxury sports car brand that has been competing in F1 races since 1950.
The aforementioned Netflix series has clearly captured a new audience who may not initially have turned on Formula One races, and Ferraro Trento hopes its partnership with the sport will bring new drinkers to its wine, too. “[The partnership] is a great adventure and opportunity in the long term for our wine,” says Matteo Lunelli, president and CEO of Ferrari Trento. According to Ferrari Trento, in 2021, sales increased by 50 percent in the U.S. market.
Only time will tell if Lunelli’s words come to fruition. With all recent evidence of decreased consumption, perhaps a motorsport and a sparkling wine partnership is the catalyst the industry needs for lasting growth.