Salary and sponsor deals: Verstappen is huge behind Hamilton

Most of the earnings both earn from salary and bonuses for their job performance. With Verstappen that is 31.5 million. Jumbo and Ziggo are on the frugal side: they sponsor him for 1 million euros, according to figures from Forbes.

The contracts of both men are not public, but Hamilton would earn considerably more: 70 million euros on the track and in bonuses and no less than 12 million euros in sponsorship deals.

The Brit, who has been world champion several times, receives money from Tommy Hilfiger, Sony, Bose, Qualcomm and the Malaysian oil company Petronas, among others. Internationally, somewhat more authoritative names than Jumbo and Ziggo.

International allure

Hamilton also has significantly more followers on Instagram, four times as many as Verstappen. Nevertheless, the Dutch driver is an interesting sponsor object, says Ruud Koning, professor of sports economics at the University of Groningen.

“An individual athlete is easier to market than a team. Moreover, compared to, for example, the premier league football, Formula 1 has international allure. The Formula 1 circus travels all over the world.”

The fact that Verstappen earns less from sponsorship than Hamilton mainly has to do with his career, says Koning. He’s only just getting started. “Hamilton has been working for years and it did not start with well-known names such as Sony. Hamilton also has more followers on social media. If he advertises beautiful sunglasses, many more people see that.”

hedge fund

In comparison: Verstappen has 6.4 million followers, even more than Ajax (6.3 million). “That also shows that Formula 1 is an international sport, more than football. It takes some time to build up a sponsorship portfolio. If Verstappen remains successful for a long time, it will be fine.”

Although Verstappen is immensely popular with his fans in the Netherlands, he gets a lot of criticism abroad because of his driving style. Could that scare away potential sponsors? “Verstappen is a high-risk seeker, maybe he can do business with a hedge fund,” Koning says about future sponsors.

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