How Formula One hopes to bring its overseas popularity to the U.S. for its Las Vegas Race

Formula One is strategically working to boost its popularity in the United States through the highly anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix scheduled for Nov. 16. The event marks a pivotal moment in Formula One’s efforts to broaden its fan base and establish a stronger presence in the American market.

The league has been eyeing this event for months, and began its marketing efforts back in July 2022 to solidify Formula One’s ongoing expansion within the U.S. market.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix is organically posting on social media platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), YouTube and LinkedIn. The league has been focusing on building its presence in Las Vegas to gain interest among tourists and potential sponsors before other markets across the United States. Additionally, the league is putting paid spend behind Facebook due to the platform’s audience reach, as well as the strength of its campaign performance forecasting and reporting tools and working with social media influencers who are from Las Vegas.

“We leverage Instagram and TikTok as our primary organic channels as they provide the best platform to deliver impactful visual storytelling associated with F1,” said Emily Prazer, chief commercial officer of the Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix.  “We know Gen Z uses TikTok more than any other social platform, and by meeting them where they are in a less overtly [produced] way, we can make fans authentically part of the moment through content, rather than just watching it.”

The Las Vegas Grand Prix will unfold on a street circuit encompassing the iconic Las Vegas Strip, and each fan’s experience will depend on their ticket, which ranges in price from $650 for a one day ticket, to $2700 for a three day ticket.

Some of the influencers Formula One hired to create content on the day of the race are YouTube personalities Pompsie (173,000 subscribers) and TravelRuby (271,000 subscribers), who are also Las Vegas natives. The financial agreements were not disclosed.

Aside from these partnerships, Formula One is also placing digital OOH ads and traditional OOH ads in Las Vegas. Additionally, the Las Vegas MSG Sphere will serve as a presenting partner for the race as it will display ads on the Sphere. At a time when marketers are seeking to maximize advertising opportunities for both on-site attendees and viewers watching the broadcast as cars navigate the circuit, the MSG Sphere stands out as an appealing option for brands wishing to make a substantial impact, according to Prazer.

“With the rapid momentum of growth globally, and in the U.S. specifically, which is a harder market to reach in a synergistic roadmap, it makes sense to follow suit down every avenue of marketing to make sure the message reaches the impact that Formula One has,” said Jonathan Yuska, U.S. brand president of the clothing brand Culture Kings North America, adding that Culture Kings will have a presence at the race in November, but did not share details on what it is doing yet outside of advertising on platforms X (formally known as Twitter) and Instagram

It is unclear how much of Formula 1’s advertising budget was allocated to this effort, as Prazer declined to share budget specifics. Formula 1 has spent a little over $1.3 million on advertising so far this year, according to Vivvix, including paid social data from Pathmatics.

“The idea to have the Las Vegas Grand Prix be a city race is a brilliant strategy for Las Vegas tourism as the race will showcase some of the most famous Las Vegas scenery to F1 fans around the world,” said Jay Milliken, a senior partner at Prophet, a growth strategy consulting firm. “Another important thing to note is that the Las Vegas Formula One race is as much about Las Vegas as it is about Formula One.”

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