There’s an infinity of subjects that could be compared between different race series and sports sanctioning bodies. Sports marketing specialist Ryan Werner, who’s in charge of Sponsor Relations at The Racers Group, gives us five things Formula 1 could learn from other series… and sports leagues.
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- BoP (Ballance of Performance). This is something that’s strictly regulated in car racing series. When asked what one thing would Fernando Alonso bring to Formula 1, his answer was: “Equal engines for everyone”. Lewis Hamilton nodded, laughed, and didn’t agree for obvious reasons. But the advantage is so evident – look at Valtteri Bottas who was barely finishing in the top 10, and now he’s in third place so far.
- Financial BoP. Charge the same to all of the teams. I’m not asking them to be the MLS (Major League Soccer) where the profit was distributed equally when they started operations to get the ball rolling and make the sport competitive, but having a solid non-negotiable fee. Which is not going to happen and the following is the best example: Formula 1 needs Ferrari, so they’d do almost anything to keep them on the track, but the smaller teams that are struggling to keep their lights on, are not seeing any benefits, like poor Manor. The more teams Formula 1 has the better as the odds increase and more cars at the track make it more entertaining for the fans.
- Hospitality. This is an inverted one actually. The other series need to learn from the top-notch hospitality offered at Formula 1, which is 100% focused on client entertainment and networking opportunities, but please make it more affordable. Not all of the teams in lower series offer hospitality, but the ones who do, usually escort their guests, sell packages for large groups and offer them discounts after a certain amount of attendees, allowing them to have a more personalised VIP experience.
- Retirement. A rule for defending the championship for at least a year needs to be established, don’t let them retire after becoming champions, make it mandatory to race for one more season, and then let them hang the gloves if that’s their desire. Rosberg’s unexpected retirement was the most brilliant and cowardly act that I’ve witnessed in racing history. Like MLB and NFL allocate some of the series’ revenue to retired Formula 1 drivers, remember, not all of them stay involved in racing, not all of them become consultants for a team or the series. Keep selling their merchandise and memorabilia; sell classic or significant items from Lauda, Schumacher, Senna, just to name a few, and with that justify and distribute the profits. I’ve never seen that in racing, and it will never happen in race series that is not NASCAR or IndyCar since a lot of drivers that are rated pro in one series would be considered amateurs in higher ones. But it’s common in America’s Major Leagues. So if they can do it, Formula 1 could too, and maybe it’s close to happening now under new management.
- Ticketing. Make tickets more affordable, simple as that. In Formula 1, taking your kids to the track depends on your budget and your children’s ages (and their level of interest). North American racing series has the goal to create a family environment, make race weekends look almost like high-tech fairs. How do they do it? Kids enter for free. Certainly, with restricted access to certain areas, but they can still experience the racing environment and develop a passion for the sport. They’re the future consumer after all.
The more teams Formula 1 has the better as the odds increase and more cars at the track make it more entertaining for the fans.