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Liberty received “very fortunate” to purchase F1 from Ecclestone to take advantage of untapped potential

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Reflecting on how F1’s new American proprietor had remodeled grand prix racing because it took possession in 2017, its president Greg Maffei claims that a few of its advances had been helped by there being low-hanging fruit from day one.

Particularly, Maffei says that Ecclestone’s deliberate angle of not being fascinated with social media, as the previous supremo felt it might devalue the stay tv expertise that he offered to broadcasters, was a simple factor to vary and exploit.

Talking in an interview within the newest version of the James Allen on F1 podcast about how the truth of proudly owning F1 was shaping up, Maffei mentioned: “Frankly, I believe it is solely gotten higher than we might have hoped. I would wish to assume we made some good strikes, however I additionally assume we received very fortunate.

“There’s been some nice racing. There’s been some nice storytelling, not solely with Drive to Survive, however what the drivers have finished themselves on social media, one thing we helped them open up that wasn’t actually allowed earlier than.

“The thrill that we have seen from followers round issues like fan zones, and the exhibitions we have had, and the showcases in London and now most just lately in Washington, DC, all these have actually opened up the fan base to a brand new actuality. And I believe that is turned out a lot better than we would have hoped.”

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Pushed on the stance adopted by Ecclestone, Maffei mentioned the earlier regime had finished tremendously good issues for F1 however had maybe did not adapt to altering occasions.

Components 1 in Depth occasion with Greg Maffei, CEO of the Liberty Media

“Bernie deserves huge credit score for what he constructed with the game, an unbelievable genius,” he mentioned. “However issues change.

“And I believe the truth is you went from a world the place you had been apprehensive or fascinated with, what are my broadcast companions going to pay me if I put all these things at no cost, to a world the place different sports activities had already embraced it and let their athletes, their members turn into enormous gamers in social media?

“Opening up that world attracted a brand new group of followers, and gave followers a a lot higher connection. Now all the published companions recognise it, that trade-off about what am I giving them versus how rather more engaged they’re, has confirmed to be massively extra to the aspect of social media.

“So it is an enormous win, and actually a option to improve your model, not a option to scale back it.”

However whereas F1 is massively profitable, Maffei says Liberty Media should not get complacent about issues and thinks followers will keep if the racing isn’t aggressive sufficient.

Requested about areas the place he felt threats exist – together with complacency – Maffei identified a number of points that F1 wanted to be aware of.

“Completely, complacency you rightly level out, I believe that is one to level out,” he mentioned. “And I fear, as I identified, we have attracted an entire group of recent followers, how can we preserve them ?

“In some locations, sustainability is an actual concern. We’ve got a very good sustainability story, however we’d like to ensure it is recognized and understood, and that we’re carrying it out. And that individuals have perception in it.”

Additional increasing his ideas, he mentioned: “I believe points about making certain aggressive racing. And the truth is, because the bar is frequently raised, I discussed how we labored onerous to catch up in social media. We labored onerous to catch up in a few of the issues that different trendy sports activities are doing.

“It is incumbent upon us to proceed to thrive, [and] be sure that we have now a very good relationship with the regulator. At varied occasions, we have had disagreements, making certain that we’re shifting in the appropriate path. You understand, these are the sorts of issues that I take into consideration at night time.”


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