Category Archives: F1 and Social Media

McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh on F1 in America and the Sport’s Future

It’s rare to hear team bosses speak out candidly on a range of issues in regards to the need for change in F1, and in this series of ongoing interviews with McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh, SPEED journalist Peter Windsor has recorded multi part videos in which he and Martin talk about topics from the state of Formula 1 to it’s arrival back to the United States in 2012.

As McLaren prepares to launch an automotive brand here in the US, their need for success in this important market is understandable. While not all teams will be leveraging F1 as a platform for their own brand in such a direct way, each faces similar challenges in creating and innovating value for their sponsors and partners who will be paying for the exposure F1 brings here and across the world.

In part 1 of this interview, Whitmarsh expresses his enthusiasm for the race in Austin, and touches on a need for change in the sport in order for it’s continued success in America:

Martin Whitmarsh – part 1

As the global championship is shifting from Europe to new markets, so is the way in which F1 is experienced around the world by its 600 million fans. In this segment, the evolution of the sport’s audience in a new age of technology opportunity highlights the need for FOM and teams to address a new approach to F1’s exposure.

Martin Whitmarsh – part 2

Fans and the ‘F1 show’ are discussed in the first half of this segment, and the need to keep pushing to make the sport more accessible for fans. Purists and new fans to the sport may disagree, but DRS, KERS and Pirelli’s tires have each played a part in adding to the show.

Martin Whitmarsh – part 3

Finally, Whitmarsh reflects on the 2011 season and talks about team changes – included here to round out the series.

Martin Whitmarsh – part 4

Thanks to Peter Windsor for the timely interview, looking forward to seeing how McLaren and the rest of the F1 field continues in 2012.

1 Comment

Filed under American F1 Fans, brand strategy in F1, Circuit of the Americas, F1 and branding, F1 and business, F1 and Social Media, F1 broadcasters, F1 broadcasting in America, Uncategorized, United States Grand Prix in Austin

Director Asif Kapadia Arrives in San Francisco with ‘SENNA’

F1 didn’t slow down quite as much this August thanks to the opening of SENNA across the United States. The agency promoting the film, Electric Artists, has been working feverishly to connect with different communities, networks, and groups across the country through a network of volunteers and event organizers, and the results have been impressive. The film opens in over 50 US cities in the coming month, with several groups and car clubs organizing events, fundraisers and gatherings around the screenings in their city.

Here in San Francisco, the F1 Group I moderate had been waiting for this film for some time, and while everyone was glad to see it finally arrive, the film’s opening date coincided with the first day of the Monterey Motorsports Reunion, a popular event held just a couple of hours away. Since a key audience for the film would not be in town that day, I spoke with Electric Artists and lobbied for an earlier date ahead of Friday with the idea that a coordinated screening would give those going for the weekend a chance to see the film and share the good word. The reviews were in and only made everyone want to see the film that much sooner.

After some thought on the idea, they suggested a possible screening late Thursday, and with just a week to go until the opening weekend in the Bay Area, the word came down that the theater could hold one special screening at 9:45pm on Thursday, and we could either take it or leave it. Theaters get that way, and while not the easiest time to bring a crowd out, with a little hard work we would get the word out quickly and fill the 285 seat theater.

Several of our members belong to other car clubs, so I was confident we would make this happen together – but the next day the news got even better – director Asif Kapadia agreed to visit us for the screening before his return home to London. News travelled fast in the car community, and the event sold out in just four days, with another five Bay Area screenings with Asif added soon after the advance screening filled up.

 

 

On the way to the theater on Thursday, Asif called about my earlier invitation to dinner before the screening, and my girlfriend and I picked him up downtown and joined our friends for a great evening where we learned more about the process he went through in making the film – all of which made for a very memorable night. The film played to a full house and he stayed until 1am signing autographs and graciously spoke to the audience after an extensive Q&A session [video]. I thank Asif and Electric Artists on behalf of the San Francisco F1 Group for helping make this special night possible.

 

Thanks again to SENNA director, Asif Kapadia (more photos)

3 Comments

Filed under American F1 Events, American F1 Fans, American release of 'Senna' film, brand strategy in F1, Events, F1 and business, F1 and Hollywood, F1 and Social Media, F1 and Viral Media, F1 in America, san francisco formula 1 group