- Red McCombs, Founder of McCombs Partners and co-founder of Circuit of The Americas (Welcome Address)
- Nick Fry – CEO Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team (Keynote Address)
- Paul Hembery – Head of Pirelli Motorsport
- Roy Sosa – Founder, Chairman and CEO of Rêv Worldwide
- Geoff McGrath – Managing Director of McLaren Applied Technologies
- Mehul Kapadia, Vice President of Commercial Alliances and Sponsorships and Tata Communications.
- Graeme Lowdon – President & Sporting Director at Marussia F1 Team
- Pablo de Villota – Formula 1 Sponsorship Manager at Banco Santander
- Bobby Epstein Co-founder and Chairman at Circuit of The Americas
Here are excerpts from @rachelclarkef1’s notes and @MSBForum’s tweets from the event
Nick Fry: “Typically, teams spend $200m a year because there are so many people and because of the rate of development of technology. We start designing in July, design and develop till Christmas, then start manufacturing, ready to go at the end of January, test for a couple of months, start racing in Australia in March, race through to November in 20 locations. For major corporations who want to advertise globally, there is nothing like it [F1]. Not dissimilar to Olympics or World Cup. It is a significant marketing opportunity”.
“This leads to different opportunities all around the world. We are good at going into emerging economies early on and getting a high level of interest early. We have been adding new venues regularly. That number will continue to grow, substituting European events. Russia and Mexico show huge demand for races, amplifying the marketing benefit”
“As an example, Airtel (India) decided to sponsor one race for Mercedes. They did an advert, got 2.5million views of the video in 2 days. Another unique aspect is technology. The people who watch are interested in the technology behind the car. Tech is important and what we need to do is to combine it with entertainment. Technology spins off to other areas, not just automotive. There are about 45,000 people who work in associated areas; all highly paid, signficant tech jobs”.
“The spin-offs are into defence, space, aerospace. The technology on cars, the composites, the electronics, the engine, the telemetry, energy recovery etc is being used in lots of other areas of business. For example, train industry and fly-wheels, buses using hybrid tech. In our own case, the energy recovery system is going into the SLS Mercedes car. Next version is purely electric, all technology developed with help of F1 team. These are examples of direct spin-offs”.
Challenges: Like most sports, one of the main problems is with costs. Money is difficult to raise. Teams at the back and middle of the grid are struggling. We need to bring down costs. The benefits of winning are huge, so people spend vast amounts of money to be successful, to get more TV and publicity. And the FIA is trying with things like DRS, which allow overtaking; this keeps the excitement with more passing (and keeps viewers engaged).