Formula One, the world’s elite motorsport series, has launched a strategic partnership with Lagardère Sports in an attempt to drive the sport’s growth in China.
Starting in 2018, the collaboration will see the agency use its vast network to secure strategic partners for the championship in areas including event promotion, media rights, digital and brand partnerships, merchandising, talent development and racing team development.
Having acquired Formula One in an US$8 billion deal, Liberty Media will work this agreement into its plans to broaden the appeal of the series in key growth markets.
Sean Bratches, the managing director of commercial operations for Formula One, said: “We have a proud and longstanding relationship with motorsport in Asia, working with some great motor race circuit owners and successful race promoters from Singapore to Suzuka in Japan through to Malaysia and Shanghai in China.
“We are keen to build on this, developing our brand through unique live entertainment experiences designed to get fans closer to the action. We’re delighted to be working with Lagardère Sports, whose knowledge of the market in China will help establish long-term benefits for all our partners and brands that we work with.”
Andrew Georgiou, chief executive officer of Lagardère Sports and Entertainment, added: “Through this new partnership together we will work with Formula One to develop premium local content for the Chinese market, in a way that the sport deeply engages with local fans and becomes part of the Chinese sporting culture and fabric.
“We’re delighted the Formula One management team has trusted us to use our global insights and network, combined with our local expertise and knowledge within China, to help develop their brand, fan base and appeal to media platforms and sponsors. It’s a very exciting time to be supporting Formula One.”
Mercedes currently lead the 2017 Formula One constructors’ championship, and the series continues this weekend with the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg.