Team boss Peter Windsor has denied rumors that they seeking to jettison the Cosworth contract in favor of a Toyota engine supply deal or worse yet; to stave off legal suits when they fail to field a car in 2010.
Those are some very harsh rumors coming out of the German media and to be fair; let us not bury the corpse just yet as it is still very much alive and kicking. Understandably this is the type of PR and media attention that USF1 has been courting for some time now. Drum up a rumor and then issue a press release either denying or neither confirming or denying anything. It seems the “frequency” of their marketing lexicon is getting a workout this year.
Working the venerable press machine and news agencies seems to be what Windsor and his team of PR people are most concerned with and that makes sense as the traditional media outlets feed just about every aspect of motorsport news and new media out there…even the terrific Autosport gets a tremendous amount of its news via the wire from such organizations as the British news papers, AP and Reuters. That’s understandable from my perspective because these agencies have a global reach and the resources to find news where this is none and to attend news events when others can’t. This is far from an indictment of Reuters, AP, UK newspapers or even Autosport…I think they all do a terrific job on a daily basis.
What it is though is a bit of a swipe at USF1. Why? I find it odd that a new team who needs the coverage and media attention would not choose to embrace new social media and other outlets such as blogs etc. F1B has sent numerous emails inquiring on how a US-based blog could work with USF1 to promote their efforts and team. Seems natural since we’re both American organizations and seeking to further American presence in the sport. Oddly, not one email has been returned.
That’s okay…really, it is. We’re not upset or miffed by it but it is odd. If not F1B, why not other blogs that do a terrific job like Keith(F1 fanatic), Christine B., BoP, Badger, Wolf and the other folks that I respect very much? I understand if F1B isn’t their cup of tea but surely the others have an idiom that would suit USF1 and play right in to their new media efforts? The new media is something the political world has succumbed to and F1 should wake up. F1B may not be a shining beacon of blogdom but the others are and I, for one, cannot imagine any team not willing to take advantage of the opportunity to work with them.
Rumors such as the Cosworth/USF1 mentioned above could be capitalized upon. Even sponsors have realized the power and pull these sites have. Twitter, Facebook and blogs all comprise a new medium that reaches the farthest corners of the internet. F1B has had very good conversations with the other new teams for 2010 and look to work closely with one in particular to present terrific news and content for our readers. This makes USF1’s silence even more strange.
To be fair, perhaps they are working with other blogs and happily returning emails and discovering ways to add transparency and access to their operation. I may be completely out of the loop and to that point; I stand down and horribly corrected. If you recall, USF1 was going to be a new kind of operation with web cams and unparalleled access to media and fans. Haven’t seen an ounce of that with any other blogs, social media or even traditional media outlets.
The news that the “YouTube guy” was brought on as an investor stirred big notions that there was going to be an all knew look and feel to F1’s fan access using new digital media etc. Not a peep. Perhaps the Eccletone commercial machine shut them down or maybe they have a secret media nuclear weapon in development that will revolutionize the sport and are not ready to release it. All things given, I admit I may be in complete darkness on their plans and so far out of the circle that my diatribes are nothing more than sophomoric quibble. Wouldn’t be the first time I can assure you (you don’t need to send emails agreeing with me by the way).
So while Windsor attempts to use the same old traditional media instead of his original concept of more grass-roots fan-based access; I guess we’ll wait to see if the German press had it right or if Windsor will issue yet another press release talking about how they are here to stay and they are all about the new media and fan access. Maybe F1B is an anathema to USF1(that’s not hard to imagine by the way) but at this point, find some new media superstars and start doing what you said you would and you just might find the brand equity meter taking a turn for the positive and the USF1 machine gaining serious steam amongst the fan base. As it is, the “hey, we’re going to be an American team isn’t that cool” thing is wearing off.
“The rumors are not true,
I’m afraid,” Windsor told the GPWeek magazine. “We are fully committed to Cosworth — which is why we are delighted to have Bernard Ferguson working for us.”