F1 claims to be fastest growing sport brand on social media

(Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Formula One registered an increase in audience figures across both TV and digital platforms during the 2017 season, and now claims to be the fastest growing sport brand on social media platforms.

Newly released figures, published by FOM on Friday, show that the sport enjoyed a 6.2 percent increase in TV audience compared to 2016 across all F1 programmes broadcast throughout the year. Positive growth was registered in the top four performing markets in Italy, Brazil, the UK and Germany, while viewing figures also rose significantly in China, Switzerland and Denmark.

The overall viewing figures of live and non-live races remained close to the 603 million from the previous season, but there was a one percent increase in the live audience, as well as rising viewing figures for both practice and qualifying sessions.

The FOM figures also claim that F1 became the fastest growing sport brand on social media in 2017, heading the likes of Formula E, the Premier League, NFL and leading sports clothing brands such as Adidas, Puma and Nike. F1's social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube now boast a total of 11.9 million followers, reflecting an increase of 54.9 percent compared to 2016.

The news follows F1's attempts to find new ways of drastically improving its digital media presence under the new leadership of Liberty Media in 2017 -- which included a move to relax the sport's previously stringent social media rules -- with the new owners aiming to improve the overall F1 experience and push social media engagement between drivers and fans.

"We are encouraged by the growth in audience numbers across linear and digital platforms during the 2017 season," F1 managing director Sean Bratches said in a statement. "Central to our efforts last season was to improve the fan experience across our platforms and it is encouraging to see the engagement that fans around the world have with Formula One media.

"Our work continues as Formula One fans will see material changes in 2018 with respect to both incumbent experiences and the creation of new ones. It is a good time to be a Formula One fan."