Member Brief: Formula One Revisited

Revisited is a continuation of the 13 month old report – Formula One and America – and the changing dynamics as the Formula One takeover of American sports and business enthusiasts continues.

There are a number of global sports: boxing, soccer, cricket, tennis, and racing. The last category is dominated by a form called Formula One. Though founded in 1950, it’s just now beginning to reach its zenith in perhaps the most important global media market – The United States. And though the sport’s American influence is scant compared to that of Europe, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, China – the potential of the sport is uniquely American.

The “sport” in Formula One lasts for a couple of hours on a Sunday Afternoon. Everything else is business, pure and simple. […] We set out to provide the best platform with the best image and the best environment for companies to maximize the benefits of their investment.

This was a quote by the former head of McLaren, one of several fabled teams, that I found in the 22 year old book by Russell Hotten, Formula 1 – The Business of Winning. Here’s another anecdote on the mainstreaming of Formula One racing. In the long history of Harvard Business case studies, there are only four cases written on the Formula One business or its many components.

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