Whether it’s self promotion or not, Lewis Hamilton reckons he’s done more to promote Formula 1 than any other driver in its history. In an interview by CNN, Hamilton said:
“I actually probably promote the sport more than any other driver ever has.
“I’m at more events talking about Formula 1 more than any driver ever has – probably all the other drivers put together and more.
“So I don’t feel like I have any more of a responsibility.
“I’ve got some incredible fans and I give as much time as I can to motivate them and energize those who do follow me. So I don’t know what else I have to give to.
“I’ve been there for 10 years. Love the sport. Given my blood, sweat and tears for the sport.
“So no, I don’t feel like I owe it anything.”
In many ways, I agree with him. Other drivers through history have been adept at using the tools they had at the time to discuss Formula 1 but with the pervasive use of social media, Hamilton reaches millions of followers who then share with millions of followers.
Hamilton’s use of these mediums is a key to just how effective it can be used to promote F1 but there is an element that applies to Lewis which wouldn’t necessarily be applicable to F1 should it start a more robust social media campaign and that can be boiled down to one word—celebrity.
Lewis has taken a cue from his Hollywood A-list friends and used his social media channels and celebrity status to promote himself and create a fan base that rivals that of musicians and actors. His attachment of other celebrities he runs with is a fabric that makes his media footprint a compelling vehicle for his brand.
F1 does have its own A-list, however, and could work with drivers and teams to generate compelling content that would go far in promoting the series. It may be more niche than Lewis’s broad appeal but effective nonetheless.
Hat Tip: CNN