Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Formula 1's Magic

I envy sportsmen who earn their money in such a 'masculine' way. Not being chauvinistic, most men would love to drive any contraption and be paid for it. Now such a sport is the Formula One.
I mean, most of the vehicles or is it machines driven on the circuits never get to your day-to-day roads. They also have such serious mechanical implications that it takes like 5-10 years to adopt some of the technologies on your normal road networks. All the hype about aerodynamics and driver-to-vehicle appreciation among other things are technologies adopted like ages ago in F1.
But what I REALLY like about the F1 gurus is their marketing drive- OK no offence to Bernie Ecclestone but his eccentricity also adds spice to the sport. According to a sport business organisation in Britain- Sports Business Group at Deloitte, Formula One boasts the world’s highest revenue generating annual sporting events, with the calendar events having 18 Grands Prix in 2007 earning an average revenue of $217 million (over 13 billion shillings).
Apart from the usual fans coming in for the races, the main revenue earner for the sport is broadcasting, race sponsorship with team revenues (mainly sponsorship &commercial contributions) and circuit revenues (ticketing and other sponsorship) playing minor roles.
To make things interesting for this season, F1 has even introduced night racing where fans will be able to view the racing cars under the cover of darkness. Exciting ain't it ? Also interesting is the way the circuits have been added with a more global approach sought by the organisers. Major cities in the world are always busy fighting for inclusion each year. Dubai, Malaysia-Sepang circuit, Shanghai are some of the recent additions.
I also find the fans of this sport very particular about their teams and healthy rivalry that builds up every 2 weekends of the month starting March.Their dedication has seen some displace other sports enthusiasts from local hunts ( like Choices -Nairobi,on a Sunday morning or afternoon)
This ought to be a sports marketer's textbook example of how to brand and sell sport.

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