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F1 | Williams commercial director assures: "number of US sponsors in F1 has doubled" under Liberty

James Bower assures Formula 1's partnerships and popularity has increased notably since Liberty Media took over the category's promotion.

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F1 | Williams commercial director assures: "number of US sponsors in F1 has doubled" under Liberty
Fuente imagen: F1.com

Since Liberty Media became the company in charge of distributing Formula 1’s promoting, the momentum of the category pinnacle of motorsport is proving to be increasing and reaching a magnificent number of followers across the globe.

Williams commercial director James Bower spoke at the Business of F1 Forum organised by the Financial Times and Motorsport Network in Monaco at the end of last month, and said the team's analysis showed a huge increase in the number of American brands involved in F1. As it was reported first by motorsport.com.

"In 2015, the count was there were 45 US-headquartered companies in the sport - the current count this year so far is there are 108, so it's a double increase," Bower said.

Given the nature of Liberty Media as an American company, the market F1 is creating on the United States is becoming an obvious preference, as the calendar prepares to welcome its third championship even in the United States when the Las Vegas Grand Prix takes place on 2023, along with Austin and Miami.

"Mentioning tech partners, I think Formula 1 is undeniably the most data-driven sport on the planet, so we're seeing this huge influx of tech companies, particularly from North America.

"Interestingly for us at Williams, we have new ownership with Dorilton, and not a lot of people understand what Dorilton do but they're essentially a New York-based private equity house that have a portfolio of companies.

"One of the things they do actually have is a venture capital arm, Dorilton Ventures, that you'll see on the car and the drivers. They're leveraging Formula 1 with the founders of these early-stage tech companies, because you kind of find that these founders all love F1, even if they are in the US.

"They're leveraging the opportunity to invest in these companies with Williams against big, established Silicon Valley investment firms, by essentially saying we'll integrate you into the team, and this has a massive appeal to people."

Bower affirms that, even though the success of the American market on F1 could be seen as an overnight, Drive to survive positive outcome, the truth is that the roots of this prosperousness count back to the comeback of the United States Grand Prix on 2012.

"We really started seeing growth then by having a poignant home, and also with ESPN broadcasting F1 in the US [since 2018] we're really seeing the demographic and the change become a bit younger, the gradual audience growth that really helps grow the sport," Bower said.

"And then of course the last five years with Liberty purchasing the sport, putting in blue chip marketing and management processes, and then just growing the sport.

"It's been phenomenal, and then just topped off with Drive to Survive and of course the new race the other week in Miami was incredible. So yeah, it's huge growth."

Formula 1's global director of race promotion, Chloe Targett-Adams, concluded F1: "finally managed to crack that beautiful combination of great racing product, this amazing generation of young, hero drivers, and the Netflix effect, all coming together at that time".

"Miami as a location was something we started working on in 2017 with the Dolphins, and to see that finally come into play, and US audiences of 400,000-plus in COTA, having developed that after 10 years, it just feels like that right time where that engagement is there across that generation," Targett-Adams said.

"It's just the combination of it all coming together and seeing that growth in the future."


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