F1 set for unrecognisable change

F1 eyes more Vegas like US opportunities as the sport has almost completed the transition from being the domain of an entrepreneurial megalomaniac in the form of Bernie Ecclestone to a full blown global blue chip corporate entity.

The acquisition by Liberty Media of the global racing series has shifted the emphasis one which predominantly focused on the values of the internal players, to one that seeks approval amongst the gargantuan keepers of global capital.



Vegas is F1’s new big play

This is clearly evident by the ongoing efforts Liberty Media (LM) is making to court the gatekeepers and fund managers of these organisations through their investor platform.

Stefano Domenicali, who was recruited to become the global face of F1 because of his depth of history within Formula One and the respect he commands within the paddock, was wheeled out in front of wall street investors last week as part of LM’s ongoing drive to talk up the ever increasing opportunities for investors in F1.

“The opportunity with Vegas, it just enhances the visibility and awareness in this market that is huge,” said Domenicali in a call with Wall Street investors.



Huge marketing efforts behind the scenes

The ex-Ferrari team boss told the financiers that F1 as market is only getting started in the USA and the present front and centre focus is to build that momentum.

“I believe that there is a lot of room to take with all of the different products in the mainstream that we have and I think that the American audience will really understand better in growing up the attention – In one month we are going to be in Miami, in October we are going to be in Austin, and in November we will be here (Vegas).”

“It is building up more and more attention that will spread all around the world.

“I think that in a humble way, we should be very proud of what we are doing because I think that we are stepping up the level of the game.”

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F1 meets with US sports tourism promoters

Domenicali and Liberty CEO Greg Maffei recently met with the National Association of Sports Commissions which is a non-for profit professional association working within the sport tourism industry.

Now with in excess of 675 sport event organisers on board, the association is influential in the cross fertilisation of resources and delivers an environment for sports marketing, sales, strategic management, event bid process technology together with the generation of sponsorship.

Following their presentation, Domenicali revealed, “Just a couple of years ago, I think that it would have been very difficult for them to say what is Formula 1.”

“Now, I would say they recognise us and we were sharing something related to the format. We don’t have to be compliant with the old guys that are saying if there is a change, ‘Oh my God, what is happening?’.

“I think on that, we take the lead and we want to keep the lead.

“All is looking good. But as always when all is looking good, we need to keep humble and make sure that we do the right things.”



A fourth USA F1 race by 2025

Formula One is working hard to permeate down through the strata of US based sports in an attempt to become part of the national sporting conversation.

Stefano Domenicali recently confirmed that there would be more USA based F1 Grand Prix in the pipeline though the sport will concentrate on growing revenues for the current three “which is the right number of the next couple of years.”

The upcoming F1 event in Las Vegas is groundbreaking for the sport in a number of ways, least of all the event promoter is itself Formula One.

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Vegas the new style F1 weekend

Whilst Bernie Ecclestone may have bailed out a number of ice promoters over the years to save a race, Liberty Media are taking the Nevada based event to a whole new level.

The investment will be close to half a billion dollars and of course F1 will receive all the revenues generated from the ticket sales and associated franchise marketing.

Vegas is an all new style F1 weekend. The focus is not on generating a huge attendance of traditional fans, but maximising the value from each Formula One backed part of the programme and creating a showpiece spectacular that will permeate the US sports psyche.



F1 set for unrecognisable change

Vegas will be just the first step in F1’s expanding horizons.

To feed the story of an ever expanding financial success to the global gatekeepers of capital, there will need to be more Vegas style events planned for the future and the USA is the key.

Creating tourist friendly venues is crucial for Formula One which is why Liberty’s big wigs were net working with the great unwashed.

Despite raising hundreds of millions of dollars a year from Arab money, the popular F1 interest in these countries is very small. 

Only in America can F1 find the untapped riches it seeks be found, and it is to America where Formula One’s greatest efforts for the future are now concentrated.

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