F1 looking to expand influence in China

Formula One is looking to expand its influence in China by holding more downtown roadshows and get youngsters and local investors engaged.
Dong Jun / SHINE

Ferrari fans at the Shanghai International Circuit in Jiading District as they enjoy the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix race in this file photo.

Formula One is looking to expand its influence in China by holding more downtown roadshows even as it wants to get youngsters and local investors engaged, a top official of the motorsport organization has said.

“We actually have more fans in Asia than in any other continent,” Sean Bratches, managing director of Formula 1 Commercial Operations, said. “Unlike holding one Grand Prix here and come back the next year, our objective is to really impress China.”

Bratches was speaking in Shanghai this week during an activity organized by Lagardere Sports, a France-based global sports marketing agency. The company is gearing up for growth in China with the launch of its Shanghai office.

According to Bratches, F1 has appointed Lagardere Sports as its strategic partner in China and it will help promote the F1 brand and motor racing starting from next year.

“With our partner, we will identify opportunities to really promote the F1 brand and engage fans in a constant way. F1 will hold 21 races next year across five continents. We encourage Chinese companies to get involved, regarding sponsorship, so that they can gain promotion around the world.

“While the F1 Chinese Grand Prix is materially improving the fans’ experience, we have been working with local organizers to build a fans’ village near the circuit where they can spend a weekend.

“From next year, we will organize fan festivals in city centers. So in certain downtown areas, there will be show cars and food court, and even fashion shows and education about the sport. We will have a program called ‘Formula 1 school’ to engage more students and inspire them with passion,” he added.


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