WHAT LIB­ERTY ME­DIA DEAL MEANS

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

It may be early days for For­mula 1’s new owner Lib­erty Me­dia, but some de­tails of the firm’s plans to re­ju­ve­nate the sports have al­ready leaked. Here’s a run­down of what we know so far.

En­hanc­ing GP week­ends

Lib­erty Me­dia’s busi­ness port­fo­lio means it can add far more to race week­ends than just the on-track ac­tion. New F1 chair­man Chase Carey says there is scope to add more at­trac­tions to grow the events as a whole. Carey says: “It’s about build­ing the live ex­pe­ri­ence at these races, which are tremen­dous events in many ways – one of the big­gest to oc­cur in a city and a coun­try in which they do oc­cur.

“There is a tremen­dous op­por­tu­nity to make that event much big­ger, broader, and ap­peal to a much larger au­di­ence, to have re­lated things through­out the week, to have other en­ter­tain­ment things– sport is en­ter­tain­ment!

“They’re great to­day, but I think we can take them to an­other level, add all sorts of di­men­sions that are re­lated to the sport, to en­ter­tain­ing, ex­cit­ing and en­er­gis­ing peo­ple, to ev­ery­body’s ben­e­fit.”

Dig­i­tal ex­pan­sion

Cur­rently F1’s dig­i­tal foot­print is minis­cule com­pared to classes such as NASCAR or Indycar, or Amer­i­can Foot­ball. Much of F1’s so­cial me­dia traf­fic is driven by the teams them­selves, but aside from that there’s lit­tle en­gage­ment or in­sight for fans.

Carey says: “There are mul­ti­ple di­men­sions to de­vel­op­ing the dig­i­tal op­por­tu­ni­ties in F1. There is the mar­ket­ing po­ten­tial in telling the For­mula 1 story, and it’s a great story with some of the most at­trac­tive stars in the world – great driv­ers, great teams, great brands, great tech­nol­ogy. So it’s tak­ing ad­van­tage of that and mak­ing it suc­cess­ful, re­ally ex­cit­ing that fan base, and us­ing the data ca­pa­bil­i­ties of dig­i­tal me­dia.

“It’s cre­at­ing new com­pe­ti­tion for these rights, new op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­ploit these rights in dif­fer­ent ways, to take ad­van­tage of what each of the plat­forms has to of­fer.”

Asia and Amer­ica

F1 has found it tough to crack Amer­ica and, while Asia is a grow­ing mar­ket for F1 with races in China, Ja­pan, Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia, there is still growth po­ten­tial.

Carey says: “As a global sport there are op­por­tu­ni­ties, and we’re ex­cited to grow the sport, like in Amer­ica and Asia. The es­tab­lished mar­kets that have been the home and foun­da­tion of F1, with Europe in par­tic­u­lar, are of crit­i­cal im­por­tance. And build­ing in Europe has to be sec­ond to none. But the US and Asia mar­kets are ones for us to de­velop.”

Vir­tual re­al­ity?

The growth in F1 video games has been key to draw­ing in fresh in­ter­est in the sport. Lib­erty is open to tak­ing that a step fur­ther with aug­mented re­al­ity ex­pe­ri­ences and em­brac­ing new gam­ing tech­nol­ogy.

Carey adds: “This sport is so suited to any of these new tech­nolo­gies, whether it’s the gam­ing or vir­tual re­al­ity arena – rac­ing Lewis Hamil­ton for ex­am­ple. The tech­nol­ogy around this sport is sec­ond to none, and the in­ter­est in the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of these cars is in­cred­i­ble.”

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