Just Three F1 Teams Don't Pay Elon Musk's Twitter $1,000 per Month

Formula 1 has gotten interesting in the last couple of months. The race is entirely on, with Red Bull, Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Mercedes-AMG making big moves. There's no clear champion yet. But let's take a quick look in another direction – social media and marketing communication. Who is and is not paying to get the new perks brought by Elon Musk's radical Twitter leadership?
Aston Martin Racecar at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix 17 photos
Photo: F1 on Twitter / autoevolution edit
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You must hand it to the guy. Not only has he taken the reins of a startup that introduced a type of car that needed no fossil fuel and made it reach unbelievable heights of success in the very conservative and simultaneously competitive business sector that is the automotive industry, but he also got involved in other businesses at the same time. Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. He has helped launch other interesting ventures like Neuralink and OpenAI. Currently the second-wealthiest person in the world, Musk is also the CEO of Twitter.

We won't get into the specifics of how he ended up in this position, but it's interesting to see that one man can run the world's most valuable car company, a business that might one day put humans on Mars, a social media corporation, and has some time left for other side projects as well.

Since taking over Twitter, Elon Musk has wanted to make it profitable. After some hiccups and a lot of firing, a system was set in place – some users must pay if they want to remain relevant on the platform or enjoy various advantages. Individuals can pay $8 ($11 if you're an Apple customer) monthly or $84 per year for the previously coveted blue checkmark. But they also get the option to edit tweets, see fewer ads, enjoy favorable ranking, text formatting, and many other virtual goodies.

F1 on Twitter
Photo: Twitter Screenshot
Businesses can pay $1,000 (or more if based in Europe) for a gold checkmark and a square profile picture. Besides that, they get access to "premium support," more significant upload limits, an affiliation tool for employees and partners through which a small picture is displayed next to their name, "impersonation defense," the Twitter Blue perks, and other employer-specific advantages.
Since Formula 1 is a motorsport known worldwide with millions of fans run by the Formula One Group, the corporate entity understood that fans desire in-depth access and established its own media company – Liberty Media. That's why there are so many ways in which the races can be experienced by anyone, virtually everywhere on Earth.

Going as far as possible

But F1 also understood it needed to reach a broader audience and gain new fans. That's one of the reasons why it is so invested in social media. Another one is that social media engagement can provide essential data that can help identify what fans want and the trends that may start once a good meme is created, or something out of the ordinary happens.

Formula 1 is also a place where brands like to get involved, and they are willing to spend the big bucks to display their names in visible areas during a race. Building a solid identity is possible with F1 because it simply reaches millions of people, whether they pay or not, to see the competition happening.

Thus, F1 is everywhere, including TikTok. But while Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube remain free to use and can even be set up so that they can generate revenue, it's interesting to see how the teams involved in the motorsport and the company running it decided to tackle the new Twitter leadership era.

Monaco FP
Photo: Twitter Screenshot
Formula 1 is spending $1,000 per month to have its gold tick on the social media platform that Tesla's CEO leads. But only some constructors were ready to follow suit as soon as the new rules were enforced. For example, Scuderia Ferrari, Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake, and MoneyGram Haas F1 Team decided they did not require a gold checkmark and were happy with the cheapest verification method available – the blue tick.

A checkmarked future?

Oracle Red Bull Racing, BWT Alpine F1 Team, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team, McLaren Racing, Scuderia AlphaTauri, and Williams Racing are all paying for the gold tick. That's at least $7,000 a month from just these seven F1 teams that want to be seen on Twitter.

While Ferrari and Alfa Romeo may not need a gold tick to be identified by fans that spend time on the reformed social media platform, it's weird that America's F1 team decided against going with the majority. It's unlikely to be about the money, so we're not exactly sure why Haas wouldn't want to support another American business. Maybe they just don't put so much value on Twitter or social media in general.

Red Bull, Mercedes-AMG, Ferrari, and Aston Martin currently dominate Formula 1. The fight for the top stop is still ongoing. We have 16 races left. Will one of these be live-streamed on Twitter? Or will the platform implement a special section for the popular motorsport now that F1 and the constructors are willing to spend more to reach a broader audience? It remains to be seen, but it's something that may help F1 generate even more buzz for itself. Twitter stands to gain something too.

It might just be that everything Elon Musk touches turns to gold.

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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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