The fourth edition of the Black Book Motorsport Forum (BBMF) took place on 22nd August at London’s Grange Tower Bridge Hotel. The one-day event brought together teams, promoters, manufacturers, sponsors and stakeholders invested within global motorsport.
The 250 delegates that attended BBMF 2017 were able to increase their knowledge on how best to promote a motorsport series, gain exclusive insight from motorsport team representatives and discover opportunities for agencies, race organisers, circuits, suppliers, broadcasters, teams, sponsors and governing bodies.
The vast conference hall was not only full of senior motorsports figures but also housed a Ferrari Formula One car, a Formula Drift car, Toyota Le Mans car, MotoGP bikes, a BAC Mono and a Roborace robocar, as well as race simulators for the attendees to try.
Jack Nicholls, BBC’s Formula One commentator and the day’s host, kicked things off with the keynote one-on-one interview with Frank Arthofer, head of digital and new business at Formula One, on Liberty Media’s digital strategy.
Further pre-lunch sessions focused on the state of play for teams across motorsport, looking at how the various series’ teams are paying the bills, the future of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the ever-important issue of the evolution of commercial partnerships in motorsport.
Meanwhile a panel on developing niche motorsports with Chris Lencheski, former vice chairman and chairman of IRG Sports and Entertainment, Jim Liaw, president of Formula Drift, and Bryn Balcombe, chief technology officer of Roborace, proved to be a real hit.
Further discussions between Hussain Naqi, senior vice president of international development at the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ben Ladkin, general manager at Arsenal Media Group and James Pabla, Lewis Hamilton’s head of social media and digital, provided a varied look at different sports properties digital output.
Finally, after a year of positive change in Formula One – under new owner Liberty Media – industry heavyweights such as Formula One journalist Will Buxton, racing Driver, TV presenter and motorsport consultant Karun Chandhok, and Audi’s director, coordination of motorsport activities, Allan McNish, ran the rule over the burgeoning new era of the sport.
They focused on topics such as Liberty’s future digital strategy, the controversial safety halo, and what developments will take place on-track to make the racing more competitive and bring casual fans back to the sport.