Sponsorship expert Zak Brown believes that Formula 1’s next owner needs to put strategic interests ahead of financial profits if the sport is to survive its cost crisis.
Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com, Brown – who has been the prime mover to most of the new sponsor deals in F1 of recent times – believes that the successor to majority shareholder CVC needs to have a longer-range view to help the sport flourish against the current backdrop of financial struggles.
“I think we need the next buyer to be a strategic buyer, as opposed to a financial buyer,” said Brown. “CVC has done unbelievably well financially out of its F1 transaction. It’s been a great investment for them, in terms of taking money out, and that’s what they do.
“You could say they haven’t added as rich strategic value as one would hope, from sitting inside the industry. You’d want the next buyer to be someone who’s interested in investing in the sport, and who takes a longer-range view on economics and/or has strategic benefit and value in building it.”
Brown added that the sport was in “dire need” of strategic direction from owners, to steer F1 away from a potentially bleak future to avoid its teams going bust.
“That’s what strategic buyers do versus financial buyers,” he said. “CVC [a private equity and investment advisory firm] is only doing what it’s supposed to do, but the sport is now in dire need of some strategic owners. I hope that happens.”
When asked if he believed that potential buyers with those required attributes were interested in taking over the ownership of the sport, Brown confirmed: “I think they’re out there. I think there’s definitely interested parties.”