Hugo Boss is looking to take advantage of F1’s booming popularity as they have ditched Formula E and are now focused on Formula 1. This is all part of this week’s Business of Motorsport Roundup.
I also bring you details on Liberty Media’s approach to Verstappen’s dominance on track, the legal strategy Felipe Massa is planning to use to claim the 2008 World Championship title and whether there is more to the Andretti rebranding that meets the eye.
All this plus this week’s sponsorship deals and partnership announcements, team news and why Puma is involved in the Gran Turismo film. It’s your weekly Business of Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. As always it is business news that racers can use.
Motorsport Industry News
Will the explosive popularity of F1 due to Drive to Survive, especially in the United States survive the domination of Max Verstappen during the 2023 season so far? Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei admits that Max Verstappen’s current domination of Formula 1 is a “challenge” as the championship tries to sustain audience growth and fan interest. To address this, Maffei said that F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is trying to focus on the fact that Verstappen is making history as he extends his record run, and that in itself is worth watching.
“Stefano Domenicali is rightly trying to pivot and say, ‘Come watch this historic event, you’ve never seen success like this, you don’t want to miss it.’ We’ll see if that works.”
Unlike last season, the FIA have announced that all F1 teams have met the 2022 cost cap. “The FIA Cost Cap Administration has issued certificates of compliance to all of the ten Competitors. The review has been an intensive and thorough process, beginning with a detailed analysis of the documentation submitted by the competitors.”
“Additionally, there has been an extensive check of any non-F1 activities undertaken by the teams, which comprised multiple on-site visits to team facilities and careful auditing procedures to assess compliance with the Financial Regulations. The FIA Cost Cap Administration notes that all Competitors acted at all times in a spirit of good faith and cooperation throughout the process.”
Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media, joins this week’s edition of Sports Business Radio to preview the Las Vegas Grand Prix, discuss the explosive growth of F1 and share why Liberty Media split off the Atlanta Braves. Maffei also discusses LiveNation and the comeback of live sports and entertainment events. You can listen here.
Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali has revealed the series is reviewing the long-term future of Italy staging two Grands Prix per season. “There is one issue that will be addressed in the short term, and that is to understand the future of Formula One in Italy. We will have to understand if there are the resources to be able to keep two grands prix on the calendar, or if we will focus on just one.”
Alfa Romeo will stay in motorsport but has yet to decide on Formula One after the partnership with Sauber expires at the end of the year, chief executive Jean-Philippe Imparato said at the Italian Grand Prix.
“I had forecast to speak in July to you all on the next step but for the moment I don’t have the solution,” Imparato said in an interview after the new Alfa 33 Stradale limited edition supercar was shown off in the Monza pitlane. “I feel that I must stay in motorsport and I will stay in motorsport. That is what I want. We will look for coherence. We don’t want to be stupid for Stellantis. We don’t want to be full (in) for Alfa Romeo. And we don’t want to exit from motorsport. I will not go to Rally Raid and I will not go on WRC (world rally) for obvious reasons for the story of Alfa Romeo. I will come back when I think we are pretty solid, we have a business plan that is not a one shot. Sustainable, solid, Italian. Not necessarily electrified, that’s not my point.”
Haas would be interested in partnering up with the manufacturer. Guenther Steiner: “If they want to stay F1 for sure, we are interested [it would] be an interesting partner. But there is no deal on the way at the moment.”
With F1 booming, Aston Martin is looking to use it to boost its brand according to The Athletic. Recently, the company has adapted its commercial and marketing efforts to engage with a younger, more American and increasingly female fanbase following the sport, and that approach is paying off. Mattiacci said Aston Martin’s Formula One involvement is having a “massive impact” on the automaker’s brand in terms of both exposure and growth. The trend is just one example of how F1’s booming popularity in recent years — especially in the United States — is creating new opportunities for those associated with the sport.
“We think there are a lot of American and even global businesses that have viewed Formula One as European, too high brow. Maybe it’s the champagne and Monaco crowd,” said Shergul Arshad, Aston Martin F1’s head of North America. “But really it’s 1.5 billion fans watching from all walks of life. We have this expression of ‘Exclusive, Inclusive’ of Aston Martin Formula One because we want people to be included even though it’s an exclusive brand.”
Aware if the F1 boom that Aston Martin is working to capitalize on, it looks like Hugo Boss is about to go all in with Formula 1. Amidst rumors of a title sponsorship of the Alpha Tauri team, Hugo Boss is departing Formula E to ‘focus only on Formula 1.’
“We can confirm that our contract as a partner of Formula E will expire at the end of this season. It has been a great partnership for us and together with Porsche we have delighted a large number of fans worldwide over the years,” a spokesperson for the company told Motorsport-Magazin.com. “Hugo Boss is realigning its existing commitments in sport and we will focus only on Formula 1 in the future,” the spokesperson added.
With the Andretti rebrand now in effect (see below), The Race asks the very relevant question of what happens if the FIA approves Andretti Cadillac and F1 doesn’t? “While there is a financial aspect to winning over the FIA, that relates to showing the funding exists to being a competent F1 team on-track. It is not the same as presenting a good commercial case to F1 itself.”
Despite the fact that the F1 tire tender is officially not decided, F1 team bosses are throwing their support behind current supplier Pirelli.
“It’s never too late,” Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner replied on Friday. “Pirelli is a great company and I’m sure in their tender that they’ve offered generous terms to the promoter, to the teams. And you know, we’d love to… There’s many, many millions of reasons that we would love to continue with Pirelli. So, you know, they’re a great tyre company, they’ve given us a great service and hopefully there’s, as I say, several million reasons that that will continue.”
Felipe Massa is shedding more light on his legal action against the FIA and FOM about the 2008 Championship. Not only is he arguing for compensation but he wants to be instated as the World Champion, and he is expecting Ferrari to support him in his quest.
“I have one certainty: that title is mine and it is Ferrari’s 16th drivers’ title,” Massa said in an update to Italian broadcaster TG1TV. “I have hired a team of very strong lawyers. We will fight to the end to obtain justice in this sport. I don’t understand why a case of manipulation cannot be verified in the way right, even if a year, two years or 15 years later.”
One of Felipe Massa’s lawyers has talked to Autosport about the legal action and they have talked a bit about their strategy, “While not wishing to reveal too much about the legal arguments that will be put forward, Viana said: “What I can say for now, without diving into the legal technicalities, is maybe it’s precisely this lack of external control that might be one of the issues.””
Liberty Media has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire greater than 90% of QuintEvents, LLC (“Quint”) in a transaction valuing the company at $313 million. Quint will be attributed to Liberty Media’s Formula One Group tracking stock, and the transaction, which is expected to be accretive, will be funded with cash on hand.
General Motorsport Industry News
Andretti Autosport, has announced a major rebranding initiative that will see the international organization adopt the branding of Andretti Global, the identity previously named as the parent company to the U.S.-based race team.
Michael Andretti, Chairman and CEO, Andretti Global: “I’m proud of what Andretti Autosport has accomplished over the years, and all the memories that have come with so many special moments. Just as proud as I am of our past, I’m equally excited about our future. As we continue to expand and build a global racing institution, our goal is to be engrained in the culture of our fans, teams and partners. This rebrand is a major milestone in our team’s journey, but we are only getting started. We are determined to achieve success and confident that there are big things in store for Andretti Global.”
IndyCar has hired Endeavor’s IMG Media division to consult as it prepares to enter the media rights market, as its deal with NBC Sports is expiring after 2024. In an interview with Sports Business Journal ahead of the NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 season finale this weekend, Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO Mark Miles revealed the move to hire Endeavor’s Karen Brodkin and IMG Media’s Hillary Mandel, and that it will enter the market in Q4 of this year, two previously unreported developments.
Autosport reports that Subaru could make a return to the World Rally Championship in the future, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has revealed. “It’s not a secret I had a good meeting with Mr Akio Toyoda, and I ask him what we can do to attract manufacturers to the WRC and I listened to someone who is passionate – and he mentioned Subaru,” said Ben Sulayem.
I mentioned the Apex Capital a few weeks ago and mentioned the the motorsport personalities involved at the time but you can now add three more to the list. Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz and Valteri Bottas have now joined the the Apex 50 million euro Elite Performance Fund. According to SBJ, the Elite Performance Fund is targeting sports, media and entertainment companies with a core thesis of finding matches where its athletes can add more benefit than just a check.
PMW reports that mid-range tire brand Davanti Tyres has developed and launched its first track-specific product, the Protoura Race, which will be available in sizes from 13-18in. “The tire’s semi-slick tread design is claimed to provide excellent dry grip and control in the wet without compromising speed. It features a directional tread pattern to aid wet performance, combined with a strengthened carcass to increase sidewall stiffness, with the intent of improving feedback. A newly developed compound and a semi-slick tread pattern making it suitable for driving to and from tracks.”
Forbes reports that Esports and sustainable motor racing group Veloce has begun its next stage of development with the listing of its VEXT token on the Bybit cryptocurrency exchange. The company hopes VEXT will grow audience engagement for its real and virtual sports activities. Its arrival as a tradable asset will help build value for Veloce towards expansion.
“VEXT is a radical new approach to funding and building engagement across a portfolio of esports and racing assets. The token can be earned through competitive activities or direct purchase. Token holders can then take part in the governance of Veloce Group functions, redeem exclusive perks, and gain access to events and experiences. VEXT token holders go beyond being shareholders, with a more proactive role in the direction of the Veloce Group.”
Revolution Race Cars have appointed their second Certified Dealer in Germany, adding Markus Zunker’s Revolution Germany Motorsport team to a growing list of Certified Dealers around the world. “Revolution view Germany as a key European market to penetrate further and to do that they have identified a need to establish a group of certfied dealers to provide customers with a 1st class parts supply, race circuit services and sales expertise.”
LawinSport look at 8 things sports businesses should know before entering into vendor and service agreements. “Professional sports organisations (teams, clubs, associations) often enter into a variety of service agreements with third parties relating to its business operations, which are fundamental to the smooth running of an organisation’s venue, and the events that are held there. It goes without saying that the food, drink, cleanliness and security play a huge role in the fan or attendee experience at a venue.”
Motorsport Sponsorship & Partnership News
Here are the latest motorsport sponsorship deals, partnerships and related analysis that were announced this week.
- How PUMA is taking on the gamer-to-racer challenge in motorsport
- 10 big sponsorship deals generating huge $350m fortune on F1 grid
- Nascar star Denny Hamlin extends FedEx partnership
- Acumatica to sponsor Scott McLaughlin’s IMSA outing
- Stephen Mallozzi, Outback Steakhouse join forces for Bristol
- Skip Barber Racing Schools Forms Partnership with ROK Cup USA for ROK Vegas & 2024 Dates – ROK Cup USA
- Ducati and Web3 Pro launch NFT collection
- Goodwood inks Revival deal with Sixt
Here is a roundup of the latest team news from around the world of motorsport.
- CrowdStrike by APR Confirms 2024 Full Season LMP2 Entry
- Hertz Team JOTA Rules Out 2024 IMSA Campaign With Porsche
- Small Teams Rise Up: Drivers welcome Parity to NASCAR Cup Playoffs
- Tickford confirms two-car Supercars team in 2024
- Chevrolet Integrating Customers Into GT3 Testing Program
- Conquest Set for IMSA Return in Ferrari GTD Entry for Franco
- GR, Project 1 Pondering Next Steps as Porsche Picks Manthey