Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Liberty Media - The Future of F1

This blog attempts to translate the comments from new F1 boss Chase Carey and other Liberty Media management.  What changes are they planning for F1?

18 September 2016 - Chase Carey - Chairman (interview F1 website)

Below are some of his quotes and in brackets, what it means ...

"It is too early to have a clear plan”.
(We are planning to make changes soon).

“But we clearly will have a plan to develop America, to be in the right market".
(F1 is under-sold in America, there will be at least one more race there).

"Formula 1 is a great premium brand and that means to me that you want to be at a location like Los Angeles, New York or Miami”.
(I’ll mention 3 North American locations because we will probably end up with at least one of them.  Also COTA is not necessarily safe ...)

“ ... ideally in the great cities in the world!".
(Expect calendar changes with more “iconic” locations globally which could mean more street circuits).

"F1's three biggest assets are the amazing cars and technology; the stars – the world is built on heroes; the global aspect with these amazing venues".
(Some existing venues don’t match this vision).

“I have not been to all the venues so far, but Singapore certainly is amazing. The race is great – that's the core – but it is a week-long extravaganza with music and entertainment”.
(Take note existing circuit owners – “WEEK LONG EXTRAVAGANZA”).

"That's really what it is about – great events. This is it: creating a great event".
(Again, a message to the existing races: raise your game or lose it.)

"So the cars and technology; the stars; and the events – the live experience".
(4 things mentioned here, but the last one is key because he clearly wants to improve the show).


It is very clear that Chase believes Formula One needs a bigger footprint in North America.  He is right.  I expect there to be an additional GP in North America within 3-4 years.  This will join COTA and the other rounds in Canada and Mexico.  4 Grand Prix on that continent sounds about right.  On a side note, I expect another South American round too – perhaps Argentina.

Looking at the 2016 F1 calendar - the longest in history - any races which are lacking in the areas Chase mentions above should be very worried.  I'm looking at you Hungary, Spain, Sochi, Bahrain and Baku.

22 September 2016 - Greg Maffei - CEO Liberty Media

"Less than one percent of revenues are from digital.  They really have no organized digital effort. I think there's a lot of things that can be done around gaming, VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality)".

(Greg stating what we all knew already, Bernie has ignored digital and social.  The percentage is interesting and needs addressing.  The fact he mentions gaming is really interesting and exciting).

"There's an enormous amount of video feed and data about the races that we are already capturing that we are not in any way processing incrementally for the dedicated fan, or opportunities around things like gambling".

(The first part of this I love!  I've long believed that the amount of footage available - especially historically - is an untapped gold mine.  For current data, capturing and selling this makes a lot of sense to me.  Greg loses me badly at the end though ... "THINGS LIKE GAMBLING??!?"   I don't like this at all!)

"Outside of the United States there is a huge gambling opportunity in the sport, none of which we capitalize on."
(This quote disturbs me.  A huge opportunity perhaps, but Liberty Media is the OWNER of the sport.  Is it the owners job to exploit its fans via gambling?)

Thanks for reading, please leave your comments. 

Pep, F1 Podcast.

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