The 2019 Chinese GP: Another win for Lewis Hamilton on track and on social media

In the second part of our deep dive into the data behind F1’s most valuable driver online, Lewis Hamilton, we analyzed the monetary value he generates for brands and sponsors.

Three races down in what is looking like it could be another enthralling championship, Mercedes have some competition, which is great for the sport and audience growth in general. Although both cars currently occupy the top of the driver’s standings with only a few points separating second-placed Lewis Hamilton and team mate Valtteri Bottas, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, as well as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen seem hot on their tails.

Not used to second place

After missing out on the top spot at the Australian Grand Prix, Hamilton has found his form again after back-to-back wins at Bahrain last month, as well as the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit.  As this season’s on-grid rivalries grow, off the race track, it’s a different story across social media.

In F1, Hamilton’s marketing value is second to none. Even outside F1, he is the personality with the largest growth in terms of fanbase on Instagram both in percentage and absolute numbers. Whilst audience and fan numbers help to illustrate popularity and engagement, it is vital to analysis these posts and interactions to better quantify the real value return of such activations.

Best placed for analyzing real monetary value in context

Social media affording brands the opportunity to reach audiences in new, dynamic and subtle ways is nothing new. But what is becoming increasingly important is the necessity to provide the context to advertising and sponsorship spend. By utilizing Nielsen’s globally recognised valuation methods across TV and print, its digital and social offerings allow us to examine this value as part of the wider ecosystem. This means brands and properties have the data and insights that enable them to weigh-up where marketing spend should be allocated.

Salvatore De Angelis, European Head of Digital, Nielsen Sports commented:

“With the constant growth of social media, it’s vital we’re able to identify the latest trends across the sponsorship landscape. Furthermore, our unique capabilities truly allow us to have our finger on the pulse and strategically advise our clients that are looking to unlock growth in this area.”

Today, based on the reach, engagement rates, size, location and clarity of branding, the average media value of one of Lewis Hamilton’s sponsored posts on Instagram is worth approximately $60k+ for a sponsoring brand.


Since August 2018, Hamilton’s posts on Instagram have amassed well over 55 million unique interactions. To better understand how that translates to media value, we examined a recent Tommy Hilfiger campaign he featured in.

Examining the #TommyxLewis campaign


Over a five-month period, over 30 pieces of content were created and distributed on Instagram, including 20 images and 10 videos.  This generated a huge amount of value for Tommy Hilfiger with the campaign driving 4.9m likes, over 40,000 comments and its videos were viewed over 5.2m times. It meant that on average, each post generated 163,000 likes and over 1,300 comments. Each video averaged 174,000 views for the #TommyxLewis campaign.

Contact Info:

For more information contact: Salvatore De Angelis, Head of Digital, Europe at salvatore.deangelis@nielsen.com