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Industry Innovators 2024: Formula 1

It’s become a global sporting phenomenon thanks to market expansion and year-round experiences for racing fans.

The Formula 1 Exhibition features six curated rooms that explore the past, present, and future of the sport.
The Formula 1 Exhibition features six curated rooms that explore the past, present, and future of the sport.
Photo: Courtesy of Formula 1

This feature is sponsored by BeEvents, creative evolutionaries who challenge the status quo to redefine the experience of live events. Its Smart Experience Design solution delivers highly impactful experiences that both stakeholders and guests love.

The Basics: With its recent strategic expansion into markets like Miami and Las Vegas, Formula 1 has accelerated its global growth and audience diversification, particularly among millennial fans. Since 2018, F1 has doubled its viewership, with this month’s Canadian Grand Prix becoming the most watched in U.S. history.

This newfound interest is in part due to the motor sport’s collaboration with Netflix to produce the docuseries Drive to Survive, which offered a peek into the inner workings of Formula 1 and captivated audiences. The sport’s recent rise has also attracted big-name brands, like American Express, Chase Sapphire, and Sports Illustrated, which are looking to engage the sport's expanding fanbase.

Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix's 3.8-mile track was the first North American circuit to take over existing city streets. Drivers raced past iconic Las Vegas locations including the Sphere (pictured), Caesars Palace, Bellagio, and The Venetian.Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix's 3.8-mile track was the first North American circuit to take over existing city streets. Drivers raced past iconic Las Vegas locations including the Sphere (pictured), Caesars Palace, Bellagio, and The Venetian.Photo: Cristiano Barni/Shutterstock.comMost Innovative Experience: The inaugural Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023 marked the first time F1 raced down the iconic Las Vegas Strip—"a feat that was achieved in a remarkably short time frame—less than two years from approval," said F1 and Las Vegas Grand Prix’s chief commercial officer, Emily PrazerIt was the first event Liberty Media and Formula 1 co-organized and promoted.

“The event was truly a celebration of the sport and its expansion in the U.S., pairing the excitement happening on the track with top-tier entertainment and amazing food and beverage offerings—all things Las Vegas does better than anywhere else,” Prazer said.

Race Week included performances by Journey, John Legend, J Balvin, Kylie Minogue, and more, as well as offerings including a casino and even a wedding chapel, where several "I do's" took place.

For this year's Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix, Racing Fan Fest returned to Wynwood Marketplace with the largest off-track fan festival during Miami Race Week. The weekendlong watch party invited fans of Oracle Red Bull Racing to immerse themselves in the Red Bull Fan Zone to pose with race cars and race against each other with simulators.For this year's Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix, Racing Fan Fest returned to Wynwood Marketplace with the largest off-track fan festival during Miami Race Week. The weekendlong watch party invited fans of Oracle Red Bull Racing to immerse themselves in the Red Bull Fan Zone to pose with race cars and race against each other with simulators.Photo: rodrigogaya.comPrazer added that the event was also a “huge success from a commercial perspective, attracting the highest number of sponsors for a single event in F1 history." The race also reportedly generated a combined economic impact of nearly $1.5 billion. “This success cements the Las Vegas Grand Prix as the most successful sporting event in the city's history,” she said.

Event Philosophy: Since each of the season's 24 Formula 1 races is individually promoted, no two races offer the same fan experience, Prazer explained. “Even within the U.S., the fan experience between Austin, Miami, and Las Vegas differs, reflecting the region’s charm. In Austin, you have a purpose-built track and a Southern feel to the race’s identity; a much larger fan capacity; and a daytime, family-friendly event atmosphere,” whereas the Las Vegas fan experience focuses on entertainment and glamour.

The Formula 1 Exhibition in Toronto opened May 3 at the Lighthouse ArtSpace and is scheduled to run until July 14.The Formula 1 Exhibition in Toronto opened May 3 at the Lighthouse ArtSpace and is scheduled to run until July 14.Photo: Courtesy of Formula 1Partnership Strategy: “As F1 expands its presence in the U.S., we value working closely with brands that are recognized in the market, such as American Express regionally, or the resort and casino partners along the track in a market like Las Vegas, where some of our partners’ properties were an extension of the event footprint,” Prazer explained.

She added that the sport also looks to partner with brands that allow it to “penetrate the broader lifestyle space. Exciting collaborations with brands like Puma allow us to insert F1 into wider sports and streetwear culture and tap into the younger, diverse audience.”

Over the course of three days, the 2024 Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix brought a record-breaking 275,799 spectators to the Miami International Autodrome at Hard Rock Stadium.Over the course of three days, the 2024 Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix brought a record-breaking 275,799 spectators to the Miami International Autodrome at Hard Rock Stadium.Photo: Courtesy of Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand PrixLooking Beyond the Track:We want to make sure Formula 1 has a presence 365 days of the year, whether that’s through mainstream media, social media, or wide content opportunities such as Drive to Survive, the Apple Studios movie with Brad Pitt, or by launching F1 Kids [a special feed of the race featuring 3D augmented graphics, kid-friendly radio transmissions, technical explainers, and colorful graphics and animations] for select races,” Prazer said. “Overall, we’re seeking increased touchpoints for fans away from the track.”

For example, the first F1 Exhibition in North America opened in Toronto in May. The 20,000-square-foot exhibition features six rooms, four race cars, 96 helmets, authentic car parts and components, 10 racing simulators, interactive games, and more. Plus, the first F1 Arcade location opened in Boston earlier this year, with another location set to open in Washington, D.C., later this year. F1 also recently announced plans for a Las Vegas venue, attached to Caesars Palace, that’s due to open in 2025.

F1 Arcade's first U.S. location opened in Boston in April.F1 Arcade's first U.S. location opened in Boston in April.Photo: Courtesy of Formula 1

The venue features full-motion racing simulators, reaction games, viewing screens, and F&B.The venue features full-motion racing simulators, reaction games, viewing screens, and F&B.Photo: Courtesy of Formula 1

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