iSportconnect is one of the world’s leading sports business networks with over 23,000 members worldwide and the network is growing. Everyone in the network is a bona fide senior sports business executive, this is not open to the public. The online community continues to grow with IOC members, IF presidents and sports CEOs and chairmen all regularly involved in discussions and posting updates. We catch up with Sree Varma, founder and head of iSportconnect.
Making things clear
In my experience communication is definitely a key part of success. Our team tries to maintain open levels of communication between our departments so that the business can run like a well-oiled machine with all the cogs in sync with one another. In such a huge organisation like Formula 1 it would be important to have transparency from top to bottom so that every staff member is on the same page.
After that, finding the right line between ambitious and realistic is what gets you there. When it comes to our company’s big events such as or Directors’ Clubs, we prioritise accordingly so that we have a single clear goal in mind – the successfully delivery of the event. That would strike me as an ideal approach when it comes to building up to Formula 1 events.
There’s no black and white way to look at Formula 1’s image. In certain ways, Formula 1 has to improve on its image, it’s true. But then you see the success the sport has in recruiting new regions in its Grand Prix calendar and you have to say it still has a big appeal, backed up by TV figures and sponsorship. However, many people feel a distance from the sport. I’ve noticed some fans expressing that the FIA, the governing body, has to take responsibility for that, open itself up and be transparent. Though lots of governing bodies have this problem at the moment, just look at FIFA and the IOC for example. Also not doing more to encourage female drivers in Formula 1 is harming the chances of growth or to reach new audiences.
There’s no black and white way to look at Formula 1’s image.
Nowadays we communicate so much online and there are so many ways to utilise the power of social media. In other sports it has been shown that fans interacting with main stars on social media platforms can have truly huge benefits. Fans want to feel part of the action, and 360 imaging, for example, is one more prevalent way that’s bringing the sport closer to the masses. Formula 1 has to use innovations to develop the communication and involvement process, not wait for fans to do it themselves.
The USA is still ripe for Formula 1 to grow and I’m absolutely sure there is so much potential there to expand on. The market of the Americas is huge, especially for motorsports, and the FIA have tried over the years but it just hasn’t yet “clicked”. I believe it has to be a more concentrated effort though, more than just simply hosting a single event in the USA and one in Mexico. Lots of marketing has to go into all that and interaction with sponsors and media to encourage expansion in the Americas has to be of the highest level.