Hilton taps growing F1 fanbase.
Wednesday, 17th September 2008
Source : Hilton Hotels Corporation
Hilton's partnership with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 Team ensures the hotel chain reaches a younger, affluent customer demographic.

Hilton Hotels Corporation is gearing up to maximise the growing interest in Formula One among Asian viewers as the races return to Asian cities, Singapore, Tokyo and Shanghai this month.

The only hotel chain to sponsor a Formula One team, Hilton Hotels Corporation sees a strong parallel between its target guest profile and the affluent F1 fans that increasingly travel to race destinations in the name of sports tourism. Hilton will aim to use its Hilton Racing online marketing platform to target a new generation of international travellers.

Since the launch of the Hilton Racing website in 2005, over 14,500 members have signed up for rewards and benefits which include the ability to book accommodation in race cities, F1 facts and insights from experts, competitions as well as a fast track membership with the company's loyalty programme, Hilton HHonors®.

The website not only helps Hilton to engage with its guests but it has had commercial success too, with the current membership base expected to generate approximately USD 5 million in revenue this year. The hotel operator aims to significantly increase members across the Asian region by advertising the website in print and online. 

With 27 hotels in close proximity to 16 Grand Prix locations, membership of Hilton Racing enables both race enthusiasts and travellers alike to take part in adrenalin filled weekends away in countries all around the world. From Australia to Brazil; Spain to Japan, there is a destination to suit everyone. 

Andrew Flack, VP Marketing and Sales, Hilton Hotels Asia Pacific comments, "With the Grand Prix Night Race set to debut in Singapore this month, we are activating our Hilton Racing programme here with ambitions to encourage more members to join up."

From 31 August to 19 October, Hilton will run an online campaign on Yahoo websites in Singapore, China, Japan and Australia, featuring large interactive advertisements devised to drive awareness and capture data with a potential reach of up to 8 million people. The campaign will run in Japanese, English and Chinese and the interactive banners offer the chance to win exclusively signed replica merchandise from Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers whilst booking hotel rooms within Asian race cities.

Flack continues, "From a brand perspective, the fact that Formula One features precision technology, competitive strategies and is associated with a myriad of luxury and lifestyle brands, means it attracts fans from the top tier socio-economic groups. This has synergy with our commercial interests and helps us appeal to a younger set of travellers. Hilton is the number one recognised international hotel brand in Asia Pacific[*] and has a natural fit with F1".

Projections that the sport will continue to grow Asia are mirrored by the hotel chain's plans to become a nationwide presence in countries like China, India, Japan and South East Asia.

Flack said, "With our aggressive growth plans to open 300 new hotels across our Hilton Family of Brands in Asia Pacific in the next 9 years, more and more of our business is set to come from Asian markets. And, we expect F1 to grow in popularity, with 5 Grand Prix races in the region and the emergence of drivers from India and China, who are set to rival the most respected drivers in the sport. Ultimately we want to create an emotional engagement with the Hilton brand, whether our guests are travelling for business or leisure, domestically or internationally."

Hilton Family Hotel Asia Grand Prix Highlights…

Located close to the F1 track in Singapore and set against the iconic Singapore Flyer, the Conrad Centennial Singapore will play host to the main sponsors of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team including Johnnie Walker, Mercedes-Benz and TAG Heuer. For the race period, the hotel will host a range of race themed activities and events including in-hotel race simulators, race amenities for guests and will support the exclusive Amber Lounge, undisputedly the hottest ticket in town for the stylish and chic race enthusiast.

At the Hilton Singapore, team members will wear full Hilton Racing gear while live race feeds will display on LCD screens throughout the hotel. As a highlight, Michelin Star Chef Laurent Peugeot has also been specially flown into Singapore to prepare a culinary experience for Grand Prix fans at the Hotel's fine dining restaurant, Harbour Grill and Oyster Bar.

Similarly, Hilton hotels in Tokyo and Shanghai will be decorated in line with the Hilton Racing theme and host special themed events such as Hilton Racing F&B promotions, live screenings and race competitions for hotel guests. Hilton Racing members will continue to receive a Hilton Racing card with the same benefits as the Hilton HHonors® loyalty card, but with the opportunity for a fast track[†] to Gold VIP status within just four hotel stays. This is combined with a brand new selection of attractive Hilton Racing rewards for 2008 such as redemption offers against Hilton HHonors® points on Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' official merchandise, F1 season guide, videos and competitions – all available on the re-launched www.hiltonracing.com website.

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