The Web3 Journey of McLaren Racing

The Web3 journey of McLaren Racing is just one of the topics covered in this week’s Business of Motorsport Roundup. While you may think that NFTs have faded away, McLaren are demonstrating that done right, they can be a marketing success.

In addition to McLaren’s Web3 journey I look at the cost of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the state of IMSA, how Red Bull parlay’s success with sponsors with success on the track and big plans for MotoGP.

I also have the latest motorsport sponsorship deals and partnership news, the business of running a race team and more in this week’s edition of the Business of Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Its business news racers can use.

Motorsport Industry News

Formula 1

F1 Logo

The cancellation of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix had a negative impact on Formula 1’s financial numbers for the second quarter of 2023 with an overall YoY decrease in Q2 revenue to US$724m as Liberty released their Q2 financial results.

As a result, F1’s revenue for the second quarter dropped from $744m in 2022 to $724m, with a drop of $10m in primary revenue (race fees, media rights and sponsorship) and another $10m lost in other revenue streams. The payments to the 10 teams for the period similarly fell from $368m to $344m, while after those and other costs were taken onto account F1 profits increased slightly from $49m to $52m.”

Huddle Up breaks down the numbers.

Business of Motorsport

It’s less than 100 days before the Las Vegas Grand Prix and Liberty Media admits that the costs of putting on the race are rising. “I am pleased to say preparations are running on schedule,” Liberty CEO Greg Maffei said in a call with Wall Street analysts. “Despite inflationary cost pressures, we expect no change in revenue and profitability assumptions that we laid out previously. We are increasing CapEx estimates for the paddock building and track work. We remain confident in the return profile of this incredible project, which will support the incremental capital investment that we are making.”

Sports Business Journal reports that during earnings calls this week, the CEOs of MGM Resorts and Caesars both pointed to boosts they’re expecting from the upcoming F1 race in Las Vegas. SBJ’s Bill King, who reviewed the week’s financial reports in the SBJ Betting newsletter has all the details.

The Miami Grand Prix in the meantime is increasing capacity and hinting of a possible night race in the future. “It’s very unlikely that we would do it for 2024, but we will continue to evaluate. We’re always looking at ways to make the experience better, and if we get to the place where F1 says this really does work for us from a broadcast perspective, this makes a lot of sense. Certainly, we’ll take a look at it.”

Interestingly ex-Formula1 driver and multiple Grand Prix winner Juan Pablo Montoya has said that a deal to host a Grand Prix in his native Colombia was near completion before Madrid snubbed his country’s efforts. Speaking to Semana TV, the seven-time GP winner said: “About eight months ago it was 95 per cent done, but someone messed it up on something and I don’t know what. I went with the Formula 1 people to Barranquilla, we looked at the layout. Everything was done, the signature was missing and they were ready to sign. Maybe in 2028. They ended up giving the race to Madrid.”

I reported this back in March but now American TV network PBS is alleging that U.S. company and Formula 1 team owner Haas appear to be still indirectly supplying the Russian arms industry with technology.

American machine tools giant Haas Automation faced allegations in March it sold technology to the Russian arms industry via a former distributor. Haas denied the story and said it halted sales when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. But research shows Haas may still be supplying the Russian arms industry indirectly. Special correspondent Simon Ostrovsky reports with support from the Pulitzer Center.”

Planet F1 looks at the fascinating performance clauses and other conditions often found in Formula 1 driver contracts. “So, contracts in sport are always kind of like, it’s more just an annoyance to get over. If you want someone or someone wants to go, there’s not really much you can do to actually keep them there if they’re not happy about it.”

More Than Equal

More Than Equal, the non-profit whose mission it is is to find the first female F1 World Champion is looking for partners. What kind of partners are they looking for?

  • A commitment to equity in everything you are and everything you do
  • A commitment to change the world for the better through actions big and small
  • A commitment to learning what you don’t already know (- even if you are surprised by what you find)
  • A commitment to Innovation, Creativity and Courage in practice and not just in presentations(!)

They are a Not For Profit and our commitment is to put extraordinarily talented women onto the top of the F1 podium.

To do that they are;

  • researching the hell out of the problem (obviously!)
  • building the first female dedicated elite driver development programme (yes! Amazing. It has never been done before!!)
  • taking the guess work out of talent identification and using data to spot potential early – think Moneyball for motorsport.

To do this they need help. They need your money obviously – sponsorship, philanthropy, co-funding, grants – however you do it. But what they really need is your voice, your network, your smarts, your skills and services and the power of your super talented people.

The lack of women at the top flight of motorsport is not the worlds biggest problem. But it is an important one. Just as the first woman in space or President of a nation or CEO of a Fortune 500 were. No young girl should look to her dream and see no other women there! So we should change that.”

If you think that you can help in a spirit of genuine collaboration and adventure let them know!

Formula 1 partner Aramco has seen their Q2 profits drop 38% to $30.1 billion. Aramco is working with Formula 1 on sustainable fuels research in preparation for their introduction in 2026.

General Motorsport Industry News

The Web3 Journey of McLaren Racing

Grassroots Motorsports have published a great interview with IMSA President John Doonan who talks about the last 5 years, IMSA’s relationshop with NASCAR, electrification and more. “It’s going to continue to evolve. We’ll always have to be aware and vigilant, and I think if we keep making decisions that are based on common sense, the sport is going to be in a really good place.”

Private equity firm MiddleGround Capital’s European office has completed its first platform acquisition with the purchase of Xtrac, a manufacturer and supplier of transmissions for professional motorsport and high-performance automotive applications.

Xtrac represents an opportunity to partner with the leading provider of high-performance transmission systems for the specialized motorsport and automotive markets,” said John Stewart, founding partner, MiddleGround. “We believe that under Adrian Moore’s leadership, Xtrac is well-positioned for long-term growth and leading the future transition of the motorsport and high-performance automotive industry to hybrid and EV drivetrains by delivering innovative products in a sustainable manner.”

Business of Motorsport

An all-new WRX rally car has been revealed by Subaru, designed for entry into the Open 4WD class of the American Rally Association (ARA) Championship. The car will debut at the Ojibwe Forests Rally on August 24-25, 2023, piloted by team #180 – driver Brandon Semenuk and co-driver Keaton. Travis Pastrana will also join in a second car in the 2024 ARA season.

Porsche is focusing its customer support around existing Type-992 Porsche 911 GT3 R models, having temporarily paused new car sales as it works to sort out supply chain-related issues specific to this model. “We have to see concerning supply chain what we can provide and what we can’t,” head of Porsche Motorsport Thomas Laudenbach said. “It’s great that we have a lot of cars out there already. We have to find the right balance there. It’s not that we’ve stopped generally the 992 GT3 R. It’s just we need to handle availability of parts in the best possible way.”

BlackBook Motorsport talks to MotoGP’s new chief commercial officer Dan Rossomondo who has big plans for the global motorcycling series. “The thing that’s important and that we’re trying to stress is that the success of the sport is contingent upon the entire ecosystem working together,” Rossomondo outlines. “Circuits, promoters, riders, teams, the league, IRTA [International Road Racing Teams Association], FIM [International Motorcycling Federation], our partners, our media partners. It’s a very complicated ecosystem, but we’re working together to try and build the sport more efficiently and effectively.”

Interested in becoming more involved with the 750 Motor Club? As well as continuous recruitment for marshals and officials, the Club is currently on the lookout for new board members.

We would encourage anyone keen to get involved to make contact, however members from a finance or accounting background would be of particular interest in this instance. As a voluntary role the right applicant would be expected to attend five board meetings a year – which may be online or in person. Directors work alongside the 750MC staff in developing future strategy and specific projects. Open to all members, if you wish to contribute to the future direction of the Club, please get in touch in the first instance by emailing with a CV and covering letter, summarising how you could contribute to the 750 Motor Club’s ongoing success.”

Here are the details on how to apply to the British Motorsport Trust for a Safety Development Fund grant.

Every year, the British Motorsport Trust allocate grants to various projects that fit underneath its Safety Development Fund programme.

Grants are available to support additional or enhanced safety improvements which comply with Motorsport UK requirements or regulations. In a typical year around 60 grant applications are approved with in excess of £150,000 awarded, which through partnership funding brings a total safety benefit to the sport approaching £500,000 each year.

Motorsport UK Registered Motor Clubs or Motorsport UK Registered or Licensed organisations are all welcome to apply for a grant.

But, what can you apply for and how do you go about the process?

We explain some of the process below with further information available on the grants section of our website here –

Motorsport Sponsorship & Partnership News

Verstappen Helmet

In From Podiums to Partnerships: The Business of F1’s Top Team, Red Bull Racing, Sponsor United looks at how Red Bull Racing parlays their success with sponsors and focused marketing initiatives into success on the track.

Not surprisingly, the Austrian team’s sponsorship stable is robust, featuring 45 deals with brands including Castore (jersey supplier) and Tequila Patron (official spirits partner). Oracle Red Bull’s social media posts have engaged 6.7M users across 76 unique posts—including its top post, on Instagram featuring a photoshoot of Verstappen and Pérez before their home race in Austria, which scored a total engagement of 731K.”

Here are the latest motorsport sponsorship deals, partnerships and related analysis that were announced this week.

Business of Motorsport

The Business of Running a Race Team

McLaren Racing Web3

Sporting Crypto takes an in-depth look at McLaren Racing’s Web3 Strategy. “McLaren Racing have had an extensive Web3 journey spanning multiple years, partnerships and NFT drops. They are partnered with leading crypto exchange OKX as well as one of the biggest blockchains out there, Tezos.”

Team News

Here is a roundup of the latest team news from around the world of motorsport.

Business of Motorsport

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.