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F1 makes fresh push in China with new marketing deal

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F1 makes fresh push in China with new marketing deal
Jul 5, 2017, 7:56 AM

Formula 1 has ramped up efforts to increase its profile in China after signing a strategy partnership agreement with marketing company Lagardere Sport and Entertainment.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber C36, runs wide
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
The drivers line up for the start and wait for the lights to go out
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, leads Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Felipe Massa, Williams FW40
A gloomy skyline behind a grandstand full of fans
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, takes the chequered flag

The aim of the partnership is to both capitalise on the growing interest in F1 and help lift the entertainment factor surrounding the country's grand prix to help grow the audience.

Lagardere, which was founded in 1992, is already playing a key role in promoting Asian Football Confederation's events in China.

Sean Bratches, F1's commercial director, views the Asian market as key for the expansion of the sport, which is why he has helped put together the Lagardere deal.

"I am proud of the strong connection between F1 and Asian motorsport," said Bratches in a statement. "Hopefully we could make it an exceptional live entertaining experience, make the fans more engaged, to increase the impact of the F1 brand.

"We are pleased to partner with Lagardere Sport, which has rich experience in the China market, to secure long term profit for all shareholders."

Lagardere's chief executive Andrew Georgiou added: "With the partnership with F1, we together will help develop a better show for the locals, [make it] more engaged with Chinese fans, and eventually make the world renowned sport a solid part of Chinese sport culture."

Along with the Singapore GP, next year's race in China remains subject to confirmation on the official FIA calendar, but F1's owners Liberty Media have no doubts the event will go ahead.

F1 chairman Chase Carey said at the FIA Sport Conference last month: "Our expectation and goal is to have a race. We're engaged with them.

"The reason is the contracts were up this year, so we're negotiating new agreements. Those agreements aren't completed.

"We're having good discussions and our expectation is to have it, but obviously we don't have a signed agreement, so it's just a reality of life with a lead time that still exists."

Frankie Mao

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