With a new Brad Pitt movie about Formula One underway, “Apex” (produced by Lewis Hamilton and Apple Original Films), Liberty Media Corporation, the new American owner of Formula One, is looking to marketing partnerships as a meaningful way to reach untapped markets and opportunities. Here are several strategies LMC has taken to build F1’s new burgeoning cultural cachet, and how brands are cashing in.

Constant Evolution and Adaptation

Founded in the 50s as a niche and exclusive racing event with a mostly European fanbase, LMC realized the need to move away from its pay-per-view model and embrace live broadcasting on ESPN and Sky to broaden access and awareness across markets. LMC’s exclusive ticketed events limited their reach. By staying abreast of changing consumer preferences, market trends, and technological advancements, they also saw an opportunity to be featured in a Netflix docuseries, Drive to Survive,” similar to the NFL’s “All or Nothing.” The series, now in its fifth season, grants access to behind-the-scenes insights into the industry and its drivers, catering to the evolving needs of the F1 audience, who want to be part of their team’s journey. Employing these strategies allows F1 to maintain its relevance, ensuring it remains top-of-mind for fans, attracts new audiences, and stays connected to the ever-changing world of TV entertainment.

Digital and Social Media Presence

Maintaining an active and engaging presence on digital and social media platforms is crucial for any brand and especially important for F1. Once banning drivers and teams from using such platforms, LMC lifted the restriction. Now, Lewis Hamilton can be seen on Instagram sharing behind-the-scenes content in the paddock before entering the British Grand Prix, which received one million likes. They leverage these platforms to trend material and encourage viewers to share content.

Aligning with Stylish and Trendy Designs

LMC’s modernized media strategy particularly appeals to F1’s soaring Gen-Z audience, creating a fashion brand gold rush. Fashion brands eager to stay in touch with the latest trends saw a booming opportunity, that could be capitalized with Chanel. The collaboration featuring a sequined racecar on a T-shirt from Chanel’s 2023 Cruise Collection went viral, surpassing the $1,000 Prada tank top with a $4,500 price tag. By consistently offering stylish and trendy designs in F1-related products, such as team merchandise or fashion collections inspired by the sport, fashion brands resonate with the increasingly fashion-conscious F1 audience, ensuring their offerings remain desirable and on-trend.

Fashion-Forward Events and Initiatives

Fashion brands have the chance to immerse themselves in the world of F1 by participating in or supporting fashion-focused events and initiatives within the racing calendar. This involvement may encompass captivating fashion shows, exclusive fashion events during electrifying race weekends, or immersive experiences that blend the realms of fashion and motorsport. A prominent example is the recent collaboration between Italian streetwear brand, Palm Angels, and American team Haas F1. Palm Angels orchestrated captivating dinners, parties, and other enthralling events throughout the season, giving rise to a highly coveted collection of Haas co-branded apparel. By building these supplemental partnerships, fashion brands solidify their relevance within the F1 fashion landscape, establishing themselves as indispensable contributors to this thriving world.

Celebrity and Influencer Collaborations

LMC understood the glamorous appeal A-list celebrities bring to any enterprise, adding a touch of star-studded allure to the F1 circuits. Notably, Shakira graced the recent British Grand Prix, accompanied by an entourage of actors and athletes, while luminaries like Michelle Obama and Michael Jordan served as special guests at the May Miami Grand Prix. The upcoming inaugural Las Vegas race promises to be an unparalleled pop culture extravaganza, setting a new standard for F1’s influence on the world stage. These well-crafted collaborations generate fervent buzz and ensure F1 takes center stage in ongoing pop cultural discussions. LMC sees the yield on their investment through 28 percent year-on-year surges in US viewership, viewers who are also looking to see who else is attending the races, and one million views according to ESPN.

Partnerships Unlock Untapped Potential

With a growing number of marketing partnerships that accompany the steady stream of sponsorships and fashion deals, Formula One is steadily ascending to the top tier of global sports and joining the ranks of football, basketball, and tennis. F1 offers prime marketing opportunities, and the sport’s biggest stars have the proven power to drive global fashion trends. By adding strategic marketing partnerships to the mix, Liberty Media Corporation successfully turned around Formula One, unlocking its untapped potential and propelling it to new heights in the worlds of sports, entertainment, and fashion. We look forward to seeing Brad Pitt in the races.