‘Four real things’ F1 needs to focus on


From a “more democratic approach” to improving the “race experience”, F1’s new commercial boss Sean Bratches has laid out the key areas that the sport needs to focus on.

Earlier this week Liberty Media completed their takeover of Formula 1.

That announcement brought with it immediate changes as Chase Carey stepped in as F1’s new CEO, Bratches was named commercial boss and former Ferrari and Mercedes man Ross Brawn took over as the new managing director of motorsport.

Those changes, though, are just the start.

Laying out his plans for Formula 1’s future, Bratches highlighted four key areas on which the new powers-that-be intend focusing their attention.

“There are four real things I am going to focus on,” he said in an interview with CNN.

“One is the brand – the brand is the entry-point for any company, any brand, any sport. And we are going to work to understand the brand.

“We are going to polish it, we are going to elevate it. It is going to be really central to what we do. That will allow us to enter new market places.

“It will allow us to take out of the market place what we should on the commercial side from sponsors, from rights holders, to promoters.

“The second is digital. I think there is a huge opportunity in the digital space to re-imagine the digital products that F1 has today, and to engage fans in very new ways and also to use sponsors to activate it.

“The third is creating a much more democratic approach in terms of how we approach our partners – from teams/sponsors/promoters and rights holders. There is a lot of opportunity to leverage the F1 IP to integrate it to their businesses.

“And the last one, is the race experience. Creating a better race experience that engages fans, spectators there and on television is a huge opportunity.”

Bratches, who previously played a vital role in turning ESPN into the sporting giant that it is today, added that he felt Formula 1 had let itself down in recent itmes.

“Unquestionably it is a Super Bowl every other week and I think that is going to be an emphasis of ours.

“I think where the opportunity lies is on the commercial front, which I am going to be spending most of my time on. I think that generally speaking, it has under punched its weight class to date.”

Pressed on how he felt F1 had fallen short, he replied: “I have a point of view on that but I am not going to share that with you.

“We are going to pivot this from a very deal orientated platform to one with a long-term vision that is focused on a very cadence business strategic approach to running the business.

“There is a huge opportunity with the global brand, and where we are on the commercial side.”