Formula 1’s Next Step: a Brand to Capture Americans
Formula 1 racing is many things to many people. It is at once the most international, technologically advanced and glamorous sport in the world. For years, there has been a push to bring the sport of Formula One to the U.S in a major way. Now, this may finally come to pass. The European-dominated sport has recently been purchased by Liberty Media, a large company owned by U.S. cable T.V. mogul John Malone. Liberty Global is the largest international TV and Broadband company in the world. So what will happen now that the Liberty Media deal has occurred? And how will Formula One be incorporated into the mainstream media of the United States?
In addition to increasing the number of places where Formula One is watched, this change may also accelerate the exit of Bernie Ecclestone.While in charge of the sport, Ecclestone has built up a business with annual turnover of about $1.9 billion. For now, Ecclestone will remain the CEO of Formula One’s parent company, while media mogul Chase Carey will take over as chairman of the board. Carey is the executive vice-chairman of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, and he is also the director of Sky Plc, the company that owns Sky News.
This transfer will likely lead to an in-depth look at Formula One. The parent company will likely analyze what needs to change and what needs to the stay the same. One thing that is destined to change is the marketing techniques. Bernie Ecclestone has been a controversial figure in the past. Many feel that he has held back the sport of F1 because he hasn’t fully embraced new media and the digital marketplace. Liberty is expected to make digital marketing a much larger priority. Toto Wolff, a Mercedes motorsport head, expressed that an American company buying Formula One might be a good thing. He feels there is a lot that Formula One’s parent company can learn from the U.S. in terms of digital marketing.
So how exactly can the parent company draw Americans to Formula One? And can F1 possibly overtake Nascar? Just a few years ago, young people in the U.S. who liked to race felt discouraged from ra