So far, the 2017 F1 season has been a competitive, action packed few races, with this year’s new rules being put into full effect. In late 2016, the F1 was brought by Liberty Media and American businessman Chase Corey was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of F1. The new rules affect activity both on and off the track with the aim of producing more exciting content and engagement with fans.
Before the 2017 season started, Liberty Media loosened social media rules, immediately giving drivers and teams greater freedom with their use of social media. Bosses believed that the strict rules were affecting fan engagement, especially with the younger demographic. Mercedes chief Wolff previously stated that “you can only reach young people through the digital side. Formula one needs to bridge this difficult gap and transform its product.” As part of the loosening of rules, drivers and teams were given greater freedom with social media. With instant impact, racers and teams started using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to show previously unseen behind-the-scenes footage.
Liberty Media has made fan engagement a priority this year, with questions being asked about how to interact with the younger demographic and how to get more fans to buy tickets and visit racing tracks.
Watching an F1 race live is an experience like none other, a sensory experience. Due to the audio and visual experience, fans that visit the event are more likely to follow the sport socially and attend other season events. A talking point which puts many off is the cost of tickets, but if teams and sponsors hold competitions giving away tickets, not only will this build better social media awareness but it will also get many fans to watch the sport and produce better engagement.
Fan engagement tools like racer stats, ‘caption this photo’, competitions to guess the fastest time and predictors for the starting lineup allow fans to showcase their knowledge whilst learning insights, strategies and stats. Given that these competitions offer fans the chance of winning prizes, it’s an exciting prospect for the F1.
At an F1 race event, it’s important that you get content which you don’t get a home. The F1 needs to build on their content-driven live experience, whether this is real-time blogs, in-car camera footage with radio communications or backstage pit lane social media footage going up on big screens as well as the race footage.
So far this season, the F1 has taken steps with rule changes on and off the track with the hopes of building more exciting content for the sport, with the aim of attracting and engaging new supporters. Since the takeover by Liberty Media in 2016 fan engagement has been put at the forefront, and it is clear to see that there has been a positive impact in helping the F1 become more attractive to a younger demographic.