New F1 boss has big plans after seeing one race

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Liberty Media’s Chase Carey attended his first Formula 1 grand prix this weekend in Singapore and he has big plans after just one event. That’s probably good news but you might feel that immediately thinking of cross-pollination with other brands the company is heavily invested in isn’t a big stretch. However, there is every chance that they acquired F1 for that very reason, to cross-pollinate and pump the business.

The groups investment in Live Nation is certainly on his mind as a way to make F1 even bigger for the entire week and he has a really good point as Christian Sylt discovered in an article at Autoweek:

“Live Nation is really about building, first and foremost, the live experience at these races. These races are tremendous events, and in many ways one of the biggest events to occur in the city and country in which they occur, and I think there is an enormous opportunity to make that event much bigger, much broader and appeal to a much larger audience happening throughout the week.”

“I think there is an enormous opportunity for us to really make these events something much bigger than they are today. They are great today, but I think we can take them to another level by adding all sorts of dimensions that are related to the sport and just related to entertaining people, exciting people and energizing people.”

Fact is, I am no expert in Live Nation’s business plan nor am I a multi-platinum recording artist but I am a musician and know many folks in the industry. What I think I do know is that the music industry is sucking mud from the bottom of the barrel it has already drained and the devolution of the industry may have started as far back as Napster.

Keeping an eye on the industry, most established, veteran music acts say that you can’t make money in the record business anymore or at least they can’t and the entire distribution network has blown up as well as artist representation, record label marketing and models for delivering product to consumers.

The money, it seems to me, is now being made on live events, merchandising and media. It used to be bands toured to promote album sales, now they release albums to promote tours and live events…not shows, events. The money is being put into the live event, not the marketing of album.

IF that’s the case, then Live Nation has been running that model for several years now and doing it very well. What if they’ve plateaued with that model and are looking for major sporting events to tie in with major recording acts and concert events to complement the entire week-long event?

There’s an interesting option here but I would suggest the challenge will be matching desirable acts with F1’s demographics as it is, at best, a multigenerational sporting series. If you consider Taylor Swift at COTA this year, that’s a bold move for an audience that most likely isn’t her demographic in the form of a F1 crowd. On the other hand, if you looking to bring a Juan Ponce de León quest to the sport and youth’ing the sport up, then getting major acts that appeal to a younger crowd may be the shot in the arm that F1 needs to gain traction with a younger generation. If you turn it into a week-long event with several live acts tied to F1, then there may be some purchase there and you may just build some currency with a younger crowd.

It will be interesting to see and I would argue that current F1 fans don’t go to see an F1 race because a band they like is playing on the Wednesday prior to the race but will a fan of the band stay until Sunday to watch a race?

Regardless, it will be interesting to see how the intend to mashup their investments and use resources across brands to impact F1. In short, I think it’s a great sign that Chase sees immediate opportunity in making F1 a bigger event and bigger draw. After all, he’s a big picture guy and his time at Fox and News Corp certainly have imbued a serious amount of skill at seeing media opportunities.

Hat Tip: Autoweek


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I think adding more events happing around and the main F1 event would be nice for those coming with families, friends, or significant others. My wife is a new fan to F1, and she is getting interested into going to a race after watching the last Singapore GP. What has piqued her interest is the city and what she and our family can do around the 3 day F1 event. She liked the idea of the concerts and asked about any other attractions that are at other races. I told her that it depends on the promoter and location, but… Read more »

Negative Camber

That’s good feedback to know. I often wonder how important the events are around a GP weekend vs the actual locale and things to see in the city etc.


We went to WEC Fuji last year. There was obviously a heck of a lot to do in Tokyo both before and after the long haul to the circuit (which was an adventure in itself). But there was literally nothing going on at the Speedway besides racing and things about racing. I liked that. Montreal GP was similar, but there were fewer things to do in the city and CGV brought in a lot of locals on a lark due to the excellent subway access between the city and the circuit (e.g., I noticed lots of funny-smelling cigarettes being shared… Read more »


Your comment about the Fuji circuit just reminded me that Motegi is practically in my backyard. I should go down there and see what is happening around it for the MotoGP race.

Tom Firth

You have to go to the Honda Collection, it looks amazing from the virtual walkthrough you can do online. Really want to see it in reality someday.


I’ll check the 2017 MotoGP schedule when released. If the time of the year is right, I think it would make a fun camping weekend.

Tom Firth

The provisional calendar was released yesterday. Motegi is October 15th.


Darn. That again puts the race the weekend after the F1 Japan GP. Well.. If I can’t go to the F1 race there is always Moto GP.

Guy Fawkes

Speaking of tying F1 to other forms of entertainment, has anything else come down the pike related to the rumor of an F1 event in Las Vegas? COTA is a bit far for me to attend but you can bet (no pun intended) I’d be in Vegas for several days or more surrounding an F1 race there. Vegas can handle the crowds, has multiple options for people attending an event AND is already an international destination. Seems to me it would be a win/win.

Michael Self

But they don’t have a track that I’m aware of. And the streets are pretty much all at 90 degrees so a street race would be boring as hell. Still I’d make it to a Las Vegas GP. Its just over 8 hours drive from my house.

Meine Postma

I guess Formula 1 will now definitively be a show, not a sporting event.

So, things to come:

– Shorter race
– Reverse grid
– Ballast for quicker teams
– Sprinklers

Max Johnson

They can add shows to the event, just don’t mess with the racing.

What Americans really like with their sports is gambling.


I don’t know, I go to races for the racing. Probably so do most attendees. So as the new commercial rights holder, LM might want to focus on that aspect of the racing series they’ve just purchased.

Adding more Taylor Swifts might miss the mark.

Tom Firth

ummm The Singapore GP already has a huge music event every year associated with it. So what is he really proposing here? That this goes in house as opposed to being organised by the venue organising committee?

Negative Camber

Not sure and I use Live Nation’s music event program as an example but I am assuming they have a robust sporting event program as well that could be part of this, not just band playing. I just stuck with what limited things I know of Live Nation. It is, after all, their bread and butter.

Tom Firth

Fair enough yeah. From what I gather, LiveNation has a very strong business through its merger with Ticketmaster in the USA, a rather strong European business and a fairly weak business in Asia, so I’m guessing perhaps are trying to leverage F1’s reach in Asia to assist with LiveNation’s growth in the region, which is a good idea.

charlie white

All of this sounds like an effort for greater cross-promotion between F1, race venue and promoters. I’ve been to a few F1 races and 2 Super Bowl games and the 2 SB games had more interactive, immersive events(outside the stadium) than any of the F1 races. Most were geared for kids but the NFL knows that’s where fan growth begins and I think that’s what Chase Carey has in mind.

Meine Postma

It looks like F1 is going to be a US-thing. Apparently Apple are looking to buy McLaren.
Although everyone is denying that.

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