Liberty Media wants to re-invent the Formula 1 Race Weekend Experience
Liberty Media, the U.S. media giant controlled by John Malone that acquired Formula 1 for $8 billion this year, are in the early stages of a monstrous overhaul of the world’s premier motorsport brand, changes the company hopes will boost sponsorship revenue and boost the domestic fanbase.
During a recent discussion with the Financial Times, a Formula One executive provided the public with an outline of the current shake-up, describing how Liberty Media are planning to make each Grand Prix “the equivalent of the Super Bowl.”
Rather than being weekend competitions, as they are now, Liberty Media wants to transform each race into a weeklong event, according to the unnamed executive cited in the report. The company are additionally exploring the possibilities of launching Grands Prix in the larger U.S. markets, with New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas currently being considered, according to the report.
Liberty also have extensive plans to evolve Formula One’s marketing department, which as been out of order for some time.
The Formula One executive told the Financial Times: “There’s no marketing, no research, no data, no digital platforms … This sport has unique global content and hasn’t done enough to take advantage of that. We need to build the rivalries and enable people to understand the technology that goes into the sport.”
This means the sport will likely go scouting for a technology sponsor, the executive said — Apple Computer were reportedly interested in buying Formula One before the Liberty deal was completed. The executive added that Liberty wants to explore what virtual reality options are at their disposal, this to bring fans who can’t attend a Grand Prix closer to the event.
The Financial Times previously reported in April this year that Formula One’s teams were seeing a rapid decline in sponsorship revenue. Last year, the 10 Formula One teams raised $750 million, down from $950 million in 2011.