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F1 moves away from 'one man show' with new hires on sponsorship and research

Hot on the heels of appointing its first ever Head of Communications last week, Formula 1 today announced that it has hired two more senior executi...

F1 moves away from 'one man show' with new hires on sponsorship and research

Hot on the heels of appointing its first ever Head of Communications last week, Formula 1 today announced that it has hired two more senior executives, as it moves further away from what Chase Carey described as the 'one man show' under Bernie Ecclestone.

Murray Barnett comes in as Global Head of Sponsorship & Commercial Partnerships and Matthew Roberts as Global Head of Research. Both are roles that have not existed before in the sport.

Previously Ecclestone handled most of the sponsorship deals himself, along with one in house specialist.

Barnett (above) has extensive experience across a number of sports, most recently rugby and has a lot of broadcast experience as part of the team that launched ESPN UK. He is in charge of exending F1's reach of sponsors and global partners and developing new opportunities to sell to partners.

Roberts (below) will lead Formula 1’s commercial research division, carrying out a thorough audit of existing markets and new markets for the sport, providing research against which Barnett and overall commercial boss Sean Bratches can then sell.

The new team wants to greatly increase revenues from the approximately $1.6 to $1.8 billion annual turnover that it has experienced n the last three to five years.

The new management team under Carey has been busy in the weeks since taking over, visiting each of the teams for meetings, as well as the FIA. Carey has convened a meeting of team principals next week ahead of the transfer to Melbourne for the first Grand Prix under Liberty Media ownership.

There are many ideas in the pipeline, some that will come on stream from race one and others that will roll out as the year goes on, but it sounds like F1 fans will begin to see the difference in approach of the new owners as 2017 unfolds.

Liberty has promised to put fans at the heart of their proposition and to give them more and better touch points with the sport.

The season is shaping up well, with the new 2017 regulations taking a step towards bringing back exciting looking cars, albeit only a small step in the view of this site. However the signs are that Ferrari is very competitive with Mercedes under these new rules and Red Bull is also within reach of the top two teams, which they can catch up through development. Meanwhile the midfield battle looks very tight and should provide plenty of incidents and drama.

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