Liberty chief lays out four-point plan to lift F1

Formula 1's new commercial chief has revealed the four key areas that are his immediate priority as Liberty Media bids to make the sport better.

Liberty chief lays out four-point plan to lift F1
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Sean Bratches, a former ESPN executive, has been drafted in as F1's commercial chief to work alongside CEO Chase Carey and managing director Ross Brawn, who focuses on sporting matters.

In his first interview since taking the post, Bratches told CNN that there were some key areas that he believed needed the most attention in this first phase in his new role.

"There are four real things I am going to focus on," he said. "One is the brand – the brand is the entry-point for any company, any brand, any sport. And we are going to work to understand the brand.

"We are going to polish it, we are going to elevate it. It is going to be really central to what we do. That will allow us to enter new market places.

"It will allow us to take out of the market place what we should on the commercial side from sponsors, from rights holders, to promoters.

"The second is digital. I think there is a huge opportunity in the digital space to re-imagine the digital products that F1 has today, and to engage fans in very new ways and also to use sponsors to activate it.

"The third is creating a much more democratic approach in terms of how we approach our partners – from teams/sponsors/promoters and rights holders. There is a lot of opportunity to leverage the F1 IP to integrate it to their businesses.

"And the last one, is the race experience. Creating a better race experience that engages fans, spectators there and on television is a huge opportunity."

Commercial boost

Carey believes that one of the areas where F1 can deliver huge growth is in commercial terms, with increased sponsorship and alignment with companies that want to get involved with the sport.

He pointed out on Tuesday that while sports like Major League Baseball have more than 80 people working on sponsorship acquisition, F1 had just one person – plus nobody working on marketing.

Bratches concurs that while the sport has achieved great things, it has under delivered in commercial terms.

"Unquestionably it is a Super Bowl every other week and I think that is going to be an emphasis of ours," he added.

"I think where the opportunity lies is on the commercial front, which I am going to be spend most of my time on. I think that generally speaking, it has under punched its weight class to date."

When asked by how much he felt it had fallen short, he said: "I have a point of view on that but I am not going to share that with you.

"We are going to pivot this from a very deal orientated platform to one with a long-term vision that is focused on a very cadence business strategic approach to running the business.

"There is a huge opportunity with the global brand, and where we are on the commercial side."

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