Having been working in the New Media space since 1991 and launching an Internet broadcast business in 1995, Chris Frampton first approached Formula 1 in 1997 with an idea for concerts and internet broadcasting when the Internet was very much in its infancy, but the ideas were rejected… Chris is now running Big and Loud Events Ltd based at Donington Park, booking artists for international sporting events around the world. We asked Chris to show us how the world of Formula 1 would look if he ran it.
Formula 1 is the product of, let’s face it, a remarkable man – Mr Ecclestone, who has established a global media extravaganza that will outlive him by many years, so if I ran Formula 1 I would want to build on all the very best commercial elements developed over the past decades. But this sport sadly operates under a shroud, so I would establish a corporate entity that is transparent and free of personal-vested interest, remove the complex business deals and hidden agreements.
Build the media brand
Formula 1 has started to develop the use of new technology and media that will save the sport for the long term, interactive race tracking is a great start and allowing social media to be part of the press coverage will help engage the young and currently disenfranchised potential followers. Commercially Formula 1 has some stunning broadcast arrangements that have developed too slowly to take full advantage of what this sport could be online. The cost of entry for broadcasters is colossal, and this does keep the production quality high, but suppresses innovation in new media. There is so much technology being used in the cars, yet so little on the delivery of the media.
There is so much technology being used in the cars, yet so little on the delivery of the media.
Events and inclusion
Formula 1 is the pinnacle for the host circuits and one of the few revenue streams for local villages and cities, however the brand is tightly restricted for use and very few activities are held with the local population in mind, so I would try to involve education and encourage the teams to support communities locally building their fan base at the same time and helping to secure Formula 1 as a must-see event, like it was in the 1960s and 1970s, before admission costs became too high for most people. Including businesses and interests from a wider cross section will make the aspirational tickets even more valuable as people will be seen to be living the highlife.
Additionally, with each of the races run and operated by the local promoter, I would give them more control over the event and allow concerts, festivals associated with Formula 1 and take the commercial element out of entertaining the fans. Several circuits have done this extremely well – Singapore and Yas Marina are excellent examples, others had too many challenges and fees from the brand to achieve commercial success.