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Liberty Media, the US media company controlled by John Malone that acquired Formula One for $8 billion this year, is planning a huge overhaul of the motoring competition that it hopes will boost sponsorship revenue and its fanbase in the US.
A Formula One senior executive outlined the shake-up to the Financial Times’ Matthew Garrahan, describing how the company planned to make each Grand Prix “the equivalent of the Super Bowl.”
Rather than simply being weekend competitions, Liberty wants to transform each Grand Prix into a weeklong event, according to the unnamed executive.
Formula One is also considering launching new Grand Prix events in big US markets and is reportedly considering locations in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.
Under Liberty, the motorsport also plans to get its marketing department in order.
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.”
To that end, Formula One is likely to hunt a technology sponsor, the executive said, adding that the motorsport also wanted to explore virtual reality to bring fans who can’t attend a Grand Prix closer to the event.
Liberty Media and Formula One did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Financial Times 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.