The most prestigious racing system, Formula 1, which is also the pinnacle of motorsport, today announced its ambitions to raise the profile of the motor racing series in China, using its global popularity as a premium entertainment property to open up further growth opportunities in the country.
The new management of Formula 1 is on the course to revolutionising the way the sport is marketed and experienced globally, and as part of its wider strategy to broaden the appeal of the championship in key growth markets, and in a path to their goals, Formula 1 has appointed sports marketing agency Lagardère Sports to help secure strategic partnerships in China from 2018 onward.
Speaking about the new deal with the sports marketing company, Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1 said, “We have a proud and longstanding relationship with motorsport in Asia, working with some great motor race circuit owners and successful race promoters from Singapore to Suzuka in Japan through to Shanghai in China.”
The newly associated partner, Lagardère Sports will use its vast network, expertise and market knowledge in the country to identify and secure strategic partners for Formula 1 in areas including event promotion, media rights, digital and brand partnerships, merchandising, talent development and racing team development.
Speaking further about the strategic importance of the China market, he added, “Across the region, Formula 1 fans have proven themselves to be some of the sport’s most passionate supporters with over 8.8 million* people attending race weekends since 2004.”
Concluding with what they have planned with this association, Bratches said, “We are keen to build on this, developing our brand through unique live entertainment experiences designed to get fans closer to the action. We’re delighted to be working with Lagardère Sports, whose knowledge of the market in China will help establish long-term benefits for all our partners and brands that we work with.”
On this new association with F1, Andrew Georgiou, Chief Executive Officer, Lagardère Sports and Entertainment said, “Having advised clients in the region for over 20 years, we’ve seen first-hand the enormous growth to date in the live sports and entertainment market in China; and also the new opportunities presented by the emerging middle and upper classes.”
“Sports fans in the country, as well as media platforms and sponsors alike, are craving premium, local and live sports and entertainment, supported by quality digital content and meaningful fan engagement. Through this new partnership together we will work with Formula 1 to develop premium local content for the Chinese market, in a way that the sport deeply engages with local fans and becomes part of the Chinese sporting culture and fabric.”
“We’re delighted the Formula 1 management team has trusted us to use our global insights and network, combined with our local expertise and knowledge within China, to help develop their brand, fan base and appeal to media platforms and sponsors. It’s a very exciting time to be supporting Formula 1,” concluded Georgiou.