Carey: Formula 1 ‘immune’ to Brexit

Date published: March 2 2019

Liberty Media don't expect Formula 1 to fall foul of Brexit.

Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey believes Formula 1 will not be adversely affected by any issues involving Brexit.

Several teams have voiced their Brexit concerns, in particular regarding a no-deal outcome, due to the large number of staff they have and the parts they important from the continent.

However, Carey believes an organisation like Formula 1 with its global outlook and unique revenue streams will not fall foul of Brexit.

“The economic issues, I do think we feel pretty immune to them,” Carey said in a phone call with Wall Street analysts and investors.

“Brexit, we’ve got some logistical issues, which are more sort of if you end up with a no-deal Brexit how do you get in and out of Britain with various equipment?

“But it’s not a financial issue, it’s more logistic, so we’re contingency planning for things like that.

“I think while certainly being European-based, we’re a global business, and we’re unique.

“I think those that probably feel it the most are ones that are more commoditised, and we’re not. I think it also helps that we’re largely a contract business.

“If you look at our revenue streams, there are that are more ongoing, hospitality and things like that, but I think the vast majority of it is long-term, so I think parties are less consumed.”

Motorsport.com reported a “flat” performance for Formula 1 in 2018 in the key revenue streams of race fees, broadcasting, and sponsorship.

Despite this, Liberty Media insist the sport is in a healthy financial state.

“We are certainly a high-demographic sport, so I think that helps, we’ve got quality sponsors and the like,” Carey explained.

“I think it’s the combination of unique events, long-term agreements, strong demographics in those that we deal with, and to some degree, an upside to our story.

“We really do feel that we’ve got some wind on our backs, and our focus in the last 24 months has really been about building interest in fans, creating momentum in the business, creating momentum in the sport, and as we now move to monetise that, get the story told.”

Carey also predicted financial growth in 2019, breaking down the areas where he expects the sport to gain ground.

“We do expect growth across our primary areas – not equal growth, television growth will be the largest, and certainly growth in some of the secondary areas too, like hospitality and events.

“The race calendar is pretty stable, so the growth will be more modest there. Clearly Vietnam coming on a year later, adds on the promotion front.

“In the sponsorship area we expect ongoing, solid growth, we’ve got a lot of interest.”

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